Match 101 Preview: Jamshedpur FC look to cement semi-final berth against upbeat NorthEast United FC

With nothing to lose, NorthEast United FC would be aiming to stage an upset when they face an in-form Jamshedpur FC side in their Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 match at the PJN Stadium in Margao, Goa on Friday.

With two matches left, the Highlanders would be eager to brush away the disappointment of their forgettable season, play fear-free football and end the campaign with something to cheer about.

The Men of Steel, already in the mix for a top-four finish, would leave no stones unturned to make use of the opportunity to bag top honours. Jamshedpur FC are well aware that a win could almost confirm their ticket to the semi-finals. Owen Coyle's team also have the fate of the AFC Champions League spot in their own hands. If they win all remaining matches, they will finish top of the league.

Form Guide

NorthEast United FC - DLLLW

Khalid Jamil’s men have lost three, drawn once and won the other in their last five matches. After a winless streak of 10 matches, the team finally logged full points in a 2-1 win over Bengaluru FC in the previous game.

Jamshedpur FC - WLWWW

The Owen Coyle-led side have won four and lost one in their last five matches. With 31 points from 16 matches, it is already their best-ever season in the Hero ISL, but still need to keep the flame burning to finish in the top-four.

Head To Head

In the nine matches played between these two in the Hero ISL, NorthEast United FC have won once. The Men of Steel have been victorious on three occasions, while they have shared the spoils on the remaining five occasions.

Team News

There are no injury concerns for NorthEast United FC, all the players are available for selection. For Jamshedpur FC, Farukh Choudhary and Komal Thatal are already out for the season, while Boris Singh, Jitendra Singh and Jordan Murray are also also unavailable for the NorthEast United FC clash.

Key Players

NorthEast United FC

Deshorn Brown: The forward has been the most influential player for NorthEast United FC this season, even though he played just 10 out of their 18 matches in the campaign. Withe seven goals (highest by any player for the team) and one assist, Brown is a game changer and would pose constant threat to the Jamshedpur FC defence in the upcoming match. He even scored a brace in the last meeting between two teams earlier this season.

Provat Lakra: One of Highlanders’ best performing Indian players this season, Lakra has always stood tall in the defence. With 418 passes in the season, the side-back is the third in this category for his contingent. Apart from which, he has enforced 32 interceptions (10th most by any player in the Hero ISL 2021-22), 69 tackles (second-most by a Highlander), 36 clearances and 23 blocks. His services will be essential against a top-quality Jamshedpur FC forward line.

Jamshedpur FC

Daniel Chukwu: The striker has impressed since the minute he donned the red and blue jersey, midway through the season. In the five matches for his new side, Chukwu has scored four times and assisted once, with a goal contribution in each of the matches. The lone wolf up-front, he has developed a great understanding with Greg Stewart, who plays in a withdrawn role and also with the Indian duo of Ritwik Das and Boris Singh. With crucial matches ahead, Chukwu will be key to Jamshedpur FC’s success.

Ricky Lallawmawna: A silent warrior in the side-back position, Ricky Lallawmawma is not new to the trade and has been doing a commendable job so far. Foremost, he has been clinical, having made 450 passes (third-most by a Jamshedpur FC player) in 16 matches, with an accuracy of 62.88%. It goes along with his regular defensive duties, which includes 39 tackles, 16 interceptions, 29 clearances and 31 blocks. He is definitely a man to watch out for in the upcoming match.

Key Stats

Record check: Jamshedpur FC have never won four consecutive matches in the Hero ISL. A victory against NorthEast United FC will help them achieve that record. However, they had won three times in a row on four different occasions, including two times in the ongoing season.

Jamshedpur FC aim to be more clinical:  Despite a victory with narrow margin (3-2), the Men of the Steel had been the dominating side in their previous encounter, earlier this season. In fact, Jamshedpur FC attempted 21 shots in that game, but only won by virtue of a late Ishan Pandita strike.

TP Rehenesh eyeing two honours: Jamshedpur FC goalkeeper has kept four clean sheets this season, which is the second most by a player in the Hero ISL 2021-22. If he doesn’t concede a goal in the upcoming match, he will equal Prabhsukhan Gill at the top and also match Subrata Paul’s record of most clean sheets (13) for Jamshedpur FC in the Hero ISL.

Match timings and telecast details

Match: NorthEast United FC vs Jamshedpur FC

Date: February 25, 2022

Venue: PJN Stadium, Fatorda

Kick-off time: 7.30 pm IST

Telecast: Star Sports Network

Online Streaming: Disney+Hotstar and JioTV.

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