Match 85 Preview: Jamshedpur FC eye three points against SC East Bengal without Fowler

Seventh-placed Jamshedpur FC look to get maximum points when they face tenth-placed SC East Bengal in Match 85 of the 2020-21 Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) at the Fatorda Stadium in Sunday’s first game.

Jamshedpur FC ended their five-match winless run in their last match with a 1-0 win over Odisha FC and even though they drew against SC East Bengal in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, they will hope for the three points against a team whose semi-final hopes are weakening by every passing game.

The Kolkata team haven’t won a single game in their last five games and they are coming into the match on the back of a 2-0 defeat against Bengaluru FC. There are no doubts that SC East Bengal have improved heavily in the second half of the season but a lack of goals up front means they haven’t been able to notch up outright results having won two, drawn seven and lost six encounters so far.   

The likes of Bright Enobakhare, Anthony Pilkington, Jacques Maghoma and Matti Steinmann will have to do a lot more since their Indian contingent has really disappointed in front of goal so far. Just 12 goals in 15 matches tells the whole story for the club. SC East Bengal will now need a string of outright results to entertain any semis hopes. It may be noted that head coach Robbie Fowler won’t be with the team on account of a four-match suspension and it will be interesting to see how the Red and Golds will cope without him. In some good news for them ahead of the game, Sourav Das and Sarthak Golui have joined the club from Mumbai City FC.

“To be honest it will make a huge impact. Obviously, the players all love him. He will be us every day up until the game. But he is the head coach and he makes quick decision. Obviously, we are not going to have that in our armoury for the next four games. The rest of staff is experienced. Hopefully, we can do him proud,” SC East Bengal assistant coach Tony Grant, ahead of the game, replied to a query if his team will miss Fowler.

Jamshedpur, on the other hand, have signed Boris Singh from ATK Mohun Bagan ahead of the game and are better placed than their rivals but it’s not that they can take it easy. They too are desperate for outright results to have a go at the semis and now’s the time Nerijus Valskis shows what he is capable of up front. Despite being their highest scorer this season with eight goals, he has been inconsistent and they can’t afford it anymore. Jamshedpur have attacking issues of their own – 14 goals in 15 games – and leaving it late is not an option anymore if they want to keep their semis hopes alive.        

"East Bengal are a very dangerous team. They have not performed as well as their own standard the last time around [referring to their 2-0 loss against Bengaluru] and they will be obviously looking to try and win the game and keep themselves in contention. We have to concentrate on that and we are very respectful of their quality while equally looking to impose our quality. That will be the key to the game," Jamshedpur FC head coach Owen Coyle said 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, Boris Singh

Midfielders: Aitor Monroy, Alexandre Lima, 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

SC East Bengal

Goalkeepers: Debjit Majumder, Mirshad Michu, Suvam Sen, Subrata Paul

Defenders: Daniel Fox, Scott Neville, Narayan Das, Gurtej Singh, N Rohen Singh, Lalramchullova, Rana Gharami, Anil Chawan, Raju Gaikwad, Ankit Mukherjee, Sarthak Golui

Midfielders: Sehnaj Singh, Matti Steinmann, Jacques Maghoma, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Wahengbam Luwang, Bikash Jairu, Yumnam Singh, Surchandra Singh, Loken Meitei, Mohammed Rafique, Aaron Joshua Holloway, Anthony Pilkington, Milan Singh, Haobam Singh, Ajay Chhetri, Sourav Das

Forwards: Balwant Singh, Jeje Lalpekhlua, CK Vineeth, Girik Khosla, Harmanpreet Singh, Bright Enobakhare

Live Broadcast Schedule:

Hero ISL 2020-21 Match 85: Jamshedpur FC vs SC East Bengal

Date: February 7 (Sunday)

Time: 5:00 PM onwards

Channels: Star Sports Network

Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV

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