Kerala look to end worst-ever winless run against Jamshedpur
Kerala Blasters FC will look to keep their Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2018-19 season alive when they host an in-form Jamshedpur FC side at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Tuesday. The Blasters are currently seventh in the table with just eight points from nine matches and are falling behind in the race for the top four, fast. A victory against the Miners will help them close the gap and keep themselves in the contention for a playoff spot.
For Jamshedpur, the match will be an opportunity to strengthen their position in the top four race, which is turning out to be a close battle this season.
The two teams have met in the Hero ISL on three occasions in the past and Kerala are yet to taste a victory against Jamshedpur.
After staying unbeaten in their first five matches this season, David James' men seem to have lost the plot in their last four outings, losing three and drawing their last fixture against Chennaiyin FC. Even the draw may be considered a lucky escape for Kerala, considering the number of big chances Chennaiyin failed to convert in the match.
Kerala are currently on an eight-match winless run - their longest one in Hero ISL history. The yellow brigade's last win came against ATK on the opening day of the season. Their inability to close out matches they dominated and a tendency of letting in late goals have hurt their prospects this season. The team has lost out on seven points from winning positions because of conceding late.
Despite their several woes, the silver lining for the Blasters this season has been the emergence of goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh. The 18-year-old has started four matches for Kerala this season and conceded just three goals. Dheeraj is also responsible for both of the clean sheets Kerala have managed so far.
Here’s a look at Kerala’s current season in numbers:
Jamshedpur have strung together a decent run of results this season and with 15 points from six matches, the Miners are very much in the mix for a top four finish. However, their last match against NorthEast United FC may have given head coach Cesar Ferrando something to think about. His team failed to register a single shot on target over the entirety of the ninety minutes.
Interestingly, it was also the first match in which Jamshedpur failed to score this season. Ferrando will be hoping that it was just an off day at the office for his forward players and the likes of Sumeet Passi, Carlos Calvo and Michael Soosairaj will fire all cylinders against Kerala on Tuesday.
All eyes will be on Jamshedpur's Tim Cahill during the match. The Aussie scored his first and only Hero ISL goal against Kerala in the reverse fixture at Jamshedpur back in October. The match ended in a 2-2 draw.
Here’s a look at Jamshedpur’s current season in numbers:
KERALA BLASTERS FC: Dheeraj Singh (GK), Nemanja Lakic-Pesic (C), Sandesh Jhingan, Mohamad Rakip, Anas Edathodika, Cyril Kali, Keziron Kizito, Sahal Abdul Samad, Halicharan Narzary, Zakeer Mundampara, Matej Poplatnik
JAMSHEDPUR FC: Subrata Paul (GK), Pratik Chowdhary, Tiri (C), Bikash Jairu, Robin Gurung, Mario Arques, Pablo Morgado, Carlos Calvo, Memo, Michael Soosairaj, Sumeet Passi
DID YOU KNOW?
- Kerala are in the midst of an 8-match winless streak – their worst ever in Hero ISL.
- Kerala have dropped seven points from winning positions this season as a result of conceding late goals.
- Jamshedpur failed to register a single shot on target in their last match against NorthEast.
Which goalkeeper will have the biggest impact?
- Dheeraj Singh
- Subrata Paul
Catch the match live on the Star Sports Network, Hotstar and Jio TV from 7:30 PM.