Match 96 preview: High-flying Jamshedpur FC face Chennaiyin FC with semi-final spot in sight

Jamshedpur FC, fresh for a morale-boosting 3-2 win over Mumbai City FC, will look to take a gigantic step towards securing their place in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) semi-finals for the first time when they face struggling Chennaiyin FC at the Tilak Maidan stadium, in Vasco, Goa on Sunday.

Owen Coyle will lead his Jamshedpur FC side against his former employers knowing a win could take them on 31 points which was the cut-off point for a semi-final place last season. However, sitting in third place, just one point behind league leaders Hyderabad FC with a game in hand, the Men of Steel would be gunning to secure the top spot especially with second-placed ATK Mohun Bagan taking on Kerala Blasters FC on Saturday.

As for Chennaiyin FC, the game offers precious little apart from pride, but that’s something that was on show aplenty when they played out a 2-2 draw against Odisha FC. Chennaiyin FC looked a rejuvenated outfit under interim head coach Syed Sabir Pasha, meaning that it would be far from a cakewalk for Jamshepdur FC on Sunday.

Form Guide

Chennaiyin FC: LDLLD

Chennaiyin FC are winless in their last five matches and this form has all but cost them a place in the semi-finals. They have shipped 13 goals during these five matches and have scored just four goals in return.

Jamshedpur FC: WWLWW

Owen Coyle’s men are flying and come into this game on a run of four wins in their last five matches and have scored nine goals in this period. At the other end, they have conceded just four goals.

Head-to-head

In the nine matches played between these two teams in the Hero ISL, Chennaiyin FC have won four times. On the other hand, Jamshedpur FC have won twice, while the remaining three matches have ended in a draw.

Team News

A decision regarding Jamshedpur FC’s Jordan Murray’s availability will be taken later. Chennaiyin FC's Mohammad Sajid Dhot won't be available for selection.

Key Players

Chennaiyin FC

Nerijus Valskis: The January signing got off the mark against Odisha FC and looked lively during the game. He showed glimpses of his best form and against his former team that he left in January, he would be keen to prove a point or two.

Anirudh Thapa: The Indian midfielder will face a stern test against the physicality of Jamshedpur FC and will have to use his mobility in the middle of the park to give Chennaiyin FC an advantage in the match. Thapa will be key to winning the midfield battle for Chennaiyin FC which could eventually decide the match.

Jamshedpur FC

Greg Stewart: The third-highest goalscorer in the Hero ISL this season and the man with the most goal contributions, netted a brace against Mumbai City FC. A contender for the Most valuable Player award, Stewart is the heartbeat of the Jamshedpur FC attack and will hold the key against Chennaiyin FC again.

Daniel Chukwu: The Nigerian forward brought in to replace Valskis has been in fine form for Jamshedpur FC. Even though his scoring streak came to an end against Mumbai City FC, he provided an assist for Ritwik Das’ goal and was a constant menace in the opponent’s penalty area.

Key Stats

Chennaiyin FC’s record at the venue: The Tilak Maidan Stadium is not a happy hunting ground for the two-time Hero ISL champions, having won just two of their 11 matches at the venue. However, one of the wins was against Jamshedpur FC last season.

Jamshedpur FC rely on set-pieces: Jamshedpur FC have scored the joint most number of goals (17) from set-pieces this season. All of their last six goals came from set-pieces. They have also recorded the most number of free-kick goals (8) in the Hero ISL 2021-22.

Record check: Greg Stewart is on the verge of breaking quite a few records for the Men of Steel. With a brace against Mumbai City FC in the previous game, he is already the highest goal scorer for the side in a single season, with nine strikes On the other hand, he is one goal away from equalling Nerijus Valskis’ record of all-time most goals (10) scored by a Jamshedpur FC players.

Match timings and telecast details

Match: Chennaiyin FC vs Jamshedpur FC

Date: 20th February 2022

Venue: Tilak Maidan Stadium, Vasco

Kick-off time: 7.30 pm

Telecast: Star Sports Network

Online Streaming: Disney+Hotstar and JioTV.

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