Match 61 Preview: Both NorthEast and Jamshedpur seek turnaround in fortunes

Jamshedpur FC take on NorthEast United FC in Match 61 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco in Sunday’s first match. Following their 1-1 draw with Bengaluru FC, the Highlanders extended their winless run to seven matches and the club announced the departure of head coach Gerard Nus and the appointment of Khalid Jamil as interim head coach.

Like NorthEast, Owen Coyle will hope for an improved performance from his side after their 3-0 defeat to FC Goa in their last game. This was Jamshedpur’s third loss within a span of four matches. Going into this fixture, the side, however, will take some heart from the fact that they are unbeaten in their seven matches against the Highlanders so far. Earlier this season too, they had beaten them 1-0.

A cause for concern for Coyle though will be his team’s misfiring attack. Jamshedpur have scored 12 goals this season and they are overly reliant on Nerijus Valskis who has scored eight of these; the remaining four are shared by Stephen Eze (3) and Aniket Jadhav (1). And Valskis has not been up to scratch either of late as in the team’s last five games he hasn’t scored in four.

"I thought they played well in their last match. NorthEast are dangerous opponents and every opponent you face presents different challenges. NorthEast may not be as fluent in passing the ball as Mumbai City or FC Goa but they have so many other qualities and that's what we have to be ready for. We have to be very respectful as we always are and look to impose our game and get our players on the ball," Coyle said ahead of the game.

Jamshedpur will also hope to improve their performance in the second half of matches. They have conceded 10 out of 15 goals during this period and four of these came against Kerala Blasters FC and FC Goa in their last two matches. Offensively, Jamshedpur have scored only five goals in the second half. It may be noted Alexandre Lima won’t play in this fixture on account of his red card against the Gaurs.

Meanwhile, NorthEast United begin a new period in their campaign after going seven matches without a win. Things seemed promising for the Highlanders after two wins in their first four matches but with three losses in their last seven matches, the Highlanders now find themselves in hot water.

The Highlanders have shown glimpses of their quality but inconsistency has let them down this season. They looked like a balanced side during their unbeaten run of six games at the start but of late they haven’t been as impressive.

Idrissa Sylla missed the last match but should be fit to return to the team, while their Ghanaian striker Kwesi Appiah has been ruled out for the rest of the season. He has been replaced by Deshorn Brown, who played the first half of Hero ISL 2020-21 with Bengaluru FC.

“Khalid is a good coach. He has been very successful in Indian football and I'm sure he will bring in a lot in terms of performance and results. We have to be consistent in our performances and if we are consistent, I'm sure we will reach the top four. We have to work hard as a team and give our best,” said NorthEast assistant coach Alison Kharsyntiew ahead of the game.

Squads:

Jamshedpur FC

Goalkeepers: Pawan Kumar, Niraj Kumar, TP Rehenesh, Raj Mahato, Vishal Yadav

Defenders: Narender Gahlot, Joyner Lourenco, Ricky Lallawmawma, Sandip Mandi, Laldinliana Renthlei, Karan Amin, Peter Hartley, Stephen Eze, Subhash Barua, Manash Protim Gogoi

Midfielders: Aitor Monroy, Alexandre Lima, Amarjit Singh, Jackichand Singh, Isaac Vanmalsawma, Mohammad Mobashir, Jitendra Singh, Gaurab, Manisana Singh, Harsha Parui, Gorachand Mamdi, Billu Teli

Forwards: Nerijus Valskis, William Lalnunfela, John Fitzgerald, David Grande, Sapam Kennedy, Bhupender Singh, Aniket Jadhav

NorthEast United FC

Goalkeepers: Gurmeet, Nikhil Deka, Sanjiban Ghosh, Subhasish Roy

Defenders: Ashutosh Mehta, Benjamin Lambot, Dylan Fox, Gurjinder Kumar, Mashoor Shereef, Nabin Rabha, Nim Dorjee, Provat Lakra, Rakesh Pradhan, Wayne Vaz

Midfielders: Federico Gallego, Imran Khan, Khassa Camara, Lalengmawia, Lalrempuia Fanai, Pragyan Gogoi, Rochharzela

Forwards: Britto PM, Idrissa Sylla, Ninthoinganba Meetei, Deshorn Brown, Lalkhawpuimawia, Luis Machado, Suhair Vadakkepeedika

Live Broadcast Schedule:

Hero ISL 2020-21 Match 61: Jamshedpur FC vs NorthEast United FC

Date: January 17 (Sunday)

Time: 5:00 PM onwards

Channels: Star Sports Network

Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV

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