Mohun Bagan Super Giant will host Jamshedpur FC at the Salt Lake Stadium in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 as the Mariners eye a direct shot at the top spot in the points table on March 1, Friday, at 7:30 PM IST.

Currently, the Kolkata-based club is placed third in the standings with 30 points from 15 games, having garnered nine victories and three draws so far.

Prior to this clash, Odisha FC will be playing East Bengal FC tonight, with the Juggernauts presently positioned first with 32 points in 16 matches.

Either the Sergio Lobera-coached team will build distance or slip up and hand a chance to the Mariners to pounce upon them the following day.

However, the dynamics slightly lower down in the table are equally gripping at the moment. Unbeaten in the ISL since Khalid Jamil took over the reins, Jamshedpur FC has 20 points from 17 encounters and are placed sixth right now.

They will be eager to sustain this form in the remaining five league games, but face a daunting task en route the same in form of the Mariners.

Both these teams have faced no losses since the ISL resumed post the mid-season break, and are running high on the confidence injected by their respective new head coaches. Who will blink the eye first on Friday?

What’s at stake?

Mohun Bagan Super Giant

Mohun Bagan Super Giant will be chasing its first league double over Jamshedpur FC, after having edged past the Red Miners by 3-2 earlier this season.

That was also incidentally the only time that they notched multiple goals against them in the ISL over the seasons. They are unbeaten in their previous three fixtures against Jamshedpur, having won twice and drawn once, but never won consecutively yet.

The Mariners played out a goalless draw against Odisha FC in their previous game, and their gifted frontline is such that they haven’t gone two straight games without finding the back of the net since February 2023.

Their attacking unit, comprising stellar forwards in Armando Sadiku, Jason Cummings, and Dimitrios Petratos, helped by creative Indian stars such as Sahal Abdul Samad and Manvir Singh, have ensured that they have scored 24 goals from the inside the box (excluding penalties) this season.

It is the joint most tally in this regard along with Odisha FC, and also a warning bell to the Jamshedpur FC defence to be on their toes, given that they have conceded 20 goals in 17 matches – the most amongst the current top-six teams.

Jamshedpur FC

Jamil has inspired Jamshedpur FC to a five-match-long unbeaten streak, with the team avoiding any defeats in the ISL since the turn of the calendar year.

The last time they went on a longer such run was of seven games back in 2021-22, which is when they had won the ISL League Winners Shield with Owen Coyle at the helm.

Jamil has a chance to prevent this season from becoming a story of too little, too late, for Jamshedpur FC, and for that the team needs to give it all that it takes to not pull their foot off the pedal just yet.

Jamil has a 33% win success rate against Antonio Lopez Habas, having squared off against the Spaniard thrice, but winning merely once so far.

A major chunk of their offensive firepower comes from their Nigerian striker Daniel Chima Chukwu, who is yet to score against the Mohun Bagan Super Giant despite facing them five times in the competition already.

Will he bring curtains down to his lean run against the Mariners or will it be Jeremy Manzorro shouldering all the responsibility yet again?Let’s wait and watch.

Key Players to Watch Out

Manvir Singh (Mohun Bagan Super Giant)

Manvir Singh has put his quick pace, footwork, and the eye to create a goal to good use in his face-offs against Jamshedpur FC.

No player has recorded more assists (3) than Manvir in this fixture. In fact, as many as six players have assisted in games between these two teams, and Manvir is the only one to do so multiple times.

The 28-year-old has notched five goal contributions in 13 appearances in the current ISL campaign. He has earned five fouls, won 17 aerial duels, created 18 goal-scoring opportunities, and averaged 27 passes at 78% accuracy, whilst dazzling defenders on the flank throughout this season.

His craftiness has been well capitalised upon by the Mohun Bagan Super Giant forwards, and the coming game is another good opportunity for them to do so.

Jeremy Manzorro (Jamshedpur FC)

French playmaker Jeremy Manzorro has been one of the key architects of Jamshedpur FC’s recent resurgence. With five goals and an assist in 16 matches, he has often helped the Red Miners beat the odds from precarious situations.

Overall, he has earned 38 fouls, made four interceptions, and averaged an impressive 49 passes per game at 79% accuracy. He has created 20 goal-scoring opportunities, taken 23 shots in total, and thus helped Jamshedpur FC not only set the tempo of the game, but also sustain pressure, explore loopholes in the opposition’s backline, and pounce upon any breakthroughs that can help them find the back of the net.

Will he be able to extend his purple patch in the heavyweight clash against the Mariners?

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Head-to-Head

Played – 7

Mohun Bagan Super Giant – 3

Jamshedpur FC – 3

Draws – 1

Trivia: Among players to have played at least five matches in the ongoing Indian Super League season, only FC Goa’s Noah Sadaoui (4.5) has registered more shot attempts per game than Mohun Bagan Super Giant’s Dimitri Petratos (3.2) and Jamshedpur FC’s Daniel Chima Chukwu (3.1).

Team Talk

“We respect our opponents and we are preparing well for the next match. The most important thing in this game will be to ensure that we do not concede goals from set-pieces,” Mohun Bagan Super Giant head coach Antonio Lopez Habas underlined ahead of the proceedings.

“We have motivated the players. I motivate them after every single match. We have very good players with us, who are willing to work hard, which is a very good point for us,” Jamshedpur FC head coach Khalid Jamil said in the pre-match press conference.

ISL Fantasy

Dimitrios Petratos (10.6cr)

Has scored six goals this season

Subhasish Bose (4.5cr)

Guarantees definite defensive contributions

Jeremy Manzorro (4.8cr)

Six goal contributions thus far in this campaign

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Where to Watch

Fans across the country can catch the action in English, Hindi, Bengali, and Malayalam. Fans can watch the action on linear channels like Sports18 Khel (Hindi), Sports18 1 HD (English), Sports18 3 SD (English, Hindi, Malayalam and Bengali), VH1 SD & HD (English), Surya Movies (Malayalam), News 18 Kerala (Malayalam – select matches) & DD Bangla (Bengali). Fans can also catch the action streaming Live for free on JioCinema, the home of Indian football. In addition to this, as part of FSDL’s partnership with OneFootball, ISL live streams and highlights of all matches of the upcoming 2023-24 season will be delivered across more than 190 countries.