Match 89 Preview: Chennaiyin face Jamshedpur as both sides look to keep semi-final hopes alive
Both Chennaiyin FC and Jamshedpur FC find themselves in a must-win situation in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 to keep their dwindling semi-final hopes alive. The two sides are more or less in a similar position on the points table and will be hoping to boost their semi-final chances when they square off at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Wednesday.
The head-to-head between the teams sees Chennaiyin enjoy a superior record with three wins, three draws and one loss from clashes against Jamshedpur FC in the Hero ISL. The Marina Machans will also head into the contest with fond memories of their 2-1 win over Jamshedpur from earlier in the campaign and Chennaiyin will back themselves to do the double over Owen Coyle’s men.
However, beating Jamshedpur for a second time will be easier said than done for a Chennaiyin outfit that’s failed to win any of their last five games and didn’t even find the back of the net in four of those fixtures. The two-time champions, in fact, haven’t scored in nine out of their 16 games this season and their last five games have witnessed them fail to score from open play.
Chennaiyin are the league’s lowest goal-scorers (11) and have a conversion rate of 5.23 – the least by a team in Hero ISL 2020-21. Defensively, Csaba Laszlo’s men have done well with only Mumbai City FC and ATK Mohun Bagan keeping more clean sheets than Chennaiyin’s six. They also are joint-third behind the Mariners and the Islanders as far as goals conceded is concerned having let in 16 goals so far. "We are the team who creates the most number of chances but also have missed the most. So, we have to be more clinical. I have respect for all opponents generally but as always we have to try to score goals and go for victory," said Laszlo ahead of the game.
Jamshedpur, meanwhile, have won just one of their last seven matches and head into the clash on the back of a loss. Goal-scoring has been an issue for them in the ongoing campaign with their top goal-scorer Nerijus Valskis responsible for more than half of their total goals. The Lithuanian has scored eight out of their 15 goals so far and the fact that defenders Stephen Eze and Peter Hartley are their next best scorers with three and two goals respectively tells its own story.
On the defensive front, Coyle’s men can do better, especially in the second half of matches. As many as 12 of the 19 goals that they’ve conceded have come following the restart. That said, the fact that Chennaiyin have scored just four times in the second half – the least by a team this season – probably bodes well for a Jamshedpur side that cannot afford anymore slip-ups in their bid for a top four spot. "It's going to be a tough match against Chennaiyin because we both know that whoever wins, it takes you to two points off the semis [in Chennaiyin’s case three points], obviously with the other teams having a game in hand. But that's what you got to do. Keep trying to apply that pressure. So, we'll be doing everything we can to win the game. We have to try to get points to reduce the deficit. Obviously, the teams who are already there will have the advantage. So, it's for them to give it away and for us to win games and earn that spot if it becomes available," Coyle said ahead of the game.
Goalkeepers: Revanth BY, Vishal Kaith, Karanjit Singh, Samik Mitra
Defenders: Lalchhuanmawia Fanai, Enes Sipovic, Reagan Singh, Eli Sabia, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Remi, Balaji Ganesan, Aqib Nawab, Deepak Tangri
Midfielders: Fatkhulo Fatkhuloev, Thoi Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Memo Moura, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Abhijit Sarkar, Pandiyan Sinivasan, Germanpreet Singh, Dhanpal Ganesh, Edwin Vanspaul, Manuel Lanzarote
Forwards: Jakub Sylvestr, Aman Chetri, Rahim Ali, Esmael Goncalves
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
Live Broadcast Schedule:
Hero ISL 2020-21 Match 89:
Date: February 10 (Wednesday)
Time: 7:30 PM onwards
Channels: Star Sports Network
Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV