Match 73 Preview: Kerala Blasters FC aim to do the double over Jamshedpur FC

Kerala Blasters FC take on Jamshedpur FC in Match 73 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Wednesday. In the last gameweek, both these teams earned a point from their respective matches. Kerala Blasters FC drew 1-1 with FC Goa, while Jamshedpur FC drew 0-0 with Hyderabad FC.

The Blasters ended Jamshedpur’s unbeaten streak against them earlier this month with a 3-2 victory. Since that morale-boosting result, the side have shown big improvement in their performance with one win and two draws.

An issue which will need to be addressed by the Blasters coaching staff is their defensive woes, especially from set-pieces. Kerala Blasters have shipped most goals for a team this season (22) and eight of these have been conceded from set-pieces. In addition to this, the Blasters have also given away five penalties.

Going into the game, the Blasters will be without Jeakson Singh, Rahul KP and head coach Kibu Vicuna, all of whom have been serving suspension. Sharing his thoughts ahead of the match, assistant coach Ishfaq Ahmed said, “Any team, when they miss their important players, they have problems. But the good thing for us is that we are responding well. Rahul KP has been asked to play as a striker and he has scored goals. We know that we won't have some players and unfortunately Kibu is not available for this match but we have some players coming back from injuries. We have good depth in the squad and a positive attitude to go for three points.”

Jamshedpur, meanwhile, will take confidence from their goalless draw with Hyderabad FC in their last game. The draw brought an end to their losing run of three matches, which had begun after their defeat to the Blasters. Since scoring twice in that fixture, their main striker Nerijus Valskis has been unable to find the back of the net, while the likes of John Fitzgerald and David Grande have not been able to clock enough minutes to make an impact for the team.

Coyle will hope the signings of Seiminlen Doungel from FC Goa and Farukh Choudhary from Mumbai City FC can help improve their performance up front. Doungel will hope to shine against the club he represented during the 2018-19 season. Farukh, on the other hand, was unlucky not to have scored in their last match on his return to the club. Like Doungel, Farukh will play against his former club having made his Hero ISL debut with the Blasters in 2016. Both these players will be integral as Jamshedpur look to avenge their loss earlier in the season.  

"With Farukh and Len Doungel coming in they have added a great dimension to our forward play and that was evident in the Hyderabad game. We want to stay positive. They are an attack-minded team and they will want the three points. They have the momentum with their unbeaten run. We have to start our unbeaten run. It has started with a draw against Hyderabad and now what we have to do is continue the unbeaten run until the end of the season," said Jamshedpur head coach Owen Coyle ahead of the game.

Squads:

Kerala Blasters FC

Goalkeepers: Albino Gomes, Bilal Husain Khan, Prabhsukhan Singh Gill, Muheet Khan

Defenders: Costa Nhamoinesu, Nishu Kumar, Bakary Kone, Jessel Carneiro, Sandeep Singh, Abdul Hakku, Lalruatthara

Midfielders: Sahal Abdul Samad, Vicente Gomez, Seityasen Singh, Rahul KP, Givson Singh, Lalthathanga Khawlhring, Yondrembem Denechandra, Arjun Jayaraj, Ayush Adhikari, Jeakson Singh, Prasanth Karuthadathkuni, Ritwik Das, Rohit Kumar, Juande, Mukstasana Gotimayum Sharma

Forwards: Gary Hooper, Jordan Murray, Facundo Pereyra, Naorem Mahesh Singh, Shaiborlang Kharpan, Subha Ghosh

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, Isaac Vanmalsawma, Mohammad Mobashir, Jitendra Singh, Gaurab, Manisana Singh, Harsha Parui, Gorachand Mamdi, Billu Teli, Seiminlen Doungel

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

Live Broadcast Schedule:

Hero ISL 2020-21 Match 73: Kerala Blasters FC vs Jamshedpur FC

Date: January 27 (Wednesday)

Time: 7:30 PM onwards

Channels: Star Sports Network

Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV

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