Match 79 Preview: Can Jamshedpur end winless run against improving Odisha?

Winless in their last five matches, Jamshedpur FC stand a chance to end this run when they take on Odisha FC in Match 79 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Monday. The club from Bhubaneswar are on a winless run of four games themselves, and a victory against Jamshedpur will give them some confidence as they are propping up the league as of now.

Stuart Baxter’s team have been very inconsistent this season. They have shown signs of improvement going forward of late though, having scored in all but one of their last four matches. But defensively, they have kept just one clean sheet in 13 matches. In their last outing against Bengaluru FC, the side’s highest goalscorer Diego Mauricio (7) scored in the 8th minute to give his team the lead but Odisha conceded from a set-piece to lose two points from the game.

The side will also hope for a much better contribution from the players tasked with supporting Mauricio in attack. Manuel Onwu is yet to score this season, and has just one assist for his team, while Jerry Mawihmingthanga is the only player in the Odisha squad that has four assists to his name, however, the Indian winger is yet to find the back of the net this season.

"I think before we played them in the 2-2 draw [at the start of the season], and after, Owen's team is usually very competitive. I've seen them play games where they don't give up and they've got some good players. So, I don't expect anything less than a difficult game," Baxter said ahead of the game.

Jamshedpur, meanwhile, were able to weather a strong Kerala Blasters FC attack in their last match and earned a point from the game. Playing against a side who have managed to draw three of their last four games, Owen Coyle’s team will need to be defensively resilient once again. Although they have kept five clean sheets this season, Jamshedpur have conceded 17 goals which points to a lack of consistency in their defence.

The additions of Seiminlen Doungel and Farukh Choudhary has added a lot to the Jamshedpur attack, but they still lack the finishing touch. Jamshedpur are currently bereft of confidence and a goal flurry against one of the most leaky defences in the division will help boost their final push for a place in the top four.

They will also need to be a solid unit at the back in case they take a lead, keeping in mind the result of their reverse fixture. Odisha scored twice in the final quarter of the match to secure a 2-2 draw and since then, Jamshedpur have gone on to concede 9 more goals in the second half.

"Coming on the back of two clean sheets, you want to make sure you're scoring goals to go with those clean sheets. If you do that, it provides you with those three points. We have to make sure we are very tight at the back but equally be a goalscoring threat going forward," Coyle said ahead of the game.

Squads:

Odisha FC

Goalkeepers: Arshdeep Singh, Kamaljit Singh, Ravi Kumar, Ankit Bhuyan

Defenders: Steven Taylor, Saurabh Meher, Gaurav Bora, Kamalpreet Singh, Mohd Sajid Dhot, George D’Souza, Shubham Sarangi, Jacob, Hendry Antonay, Rakesh Pradhan

Midfielders: Baoringdao Bodo, Cole Alexander, Isak Vanlalruatfela, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, S Lalhrezuala, Nandhakumar Sekar, Paul Ramfangzauva, Samuel Lalmuanpuia, Vinit Rai, Thoiba Singh, Bradden Inman

Forwards: Diego Mauricio, Manuel Onwu, Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Laishram Singh

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, Nicholas Fitzgerald, David Grande, Sapam Kennedy, Bhupender Singh, Aniket Jadhav, Farukh Choudhary

Live Broadcast Schedule:

Hero ISL 2020-21 Match 79: Odisha FC vs Jamshedpur FC

Date: February 1 (Monday)

Time: 7:30 PM onwards

Channels: Star Sports Network

Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV

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