Preview: Jamshedpur FC keen to climb the table as they face FC Goa
Jamshedpur FC face a tough test against FC Goa.
FC Goa will play hosts to Jamshedpur FC in the final fixture of the seventh matchweek of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 at the Fatorda Stadium on November 27, Monday.
FC Goa roping in Manolo Marquez to inspire a turnaround from their disappointing form last year can be classified as a masterstroke till now. Taking his legacy forward in the league, the Spaniard has emerged as one of the most tactically sound coaches in the season, and he didn’t take much time to get his players playing his way with the Gaurs.
After five matches, Marquez and his men have accumulated 13 points with the help of four victories and a draw. They have scored the third-most (9) goals and conceded the least of them (3) amongst all teams so far. However, it is the collectiveness with which they have gone about their work that really raises eyebrows.
Despite being as flawless as possible, it is difficult to single out a standout individual in their side, which speaks volumes of how the whole squad has gelled in synergy to produce optimum results. Hosting the Red Miners, the Gaurs will be ready to pounce upon this opportunity of bagging three points in familiar surroundings against an outfit still finding its feet in the league.
What’s at stake?
FC Goa have an opportunity to get level on points with Kerala Blasters FC (16) and displace them from the top of the table with a game in hand if they win this match. Their only challenge will be to ward off any rustiness after the international break; otherwise they appear to be well placed to make another home game count in their favour.
Scott Cooper and his side have not seen success in the last three games, but they have missed out on wins on narrow margins. They need to get their campaign back on track and a positive result in the home turf of a team as in-form as FC Goa will do their confidence a world of good.
Odei Onaindia (FC Goa)
The 33-year-old centre-back has helped FC Goa keep three clean sheets in their five matches. He has kept things neat at the back, making one interception, 2.6 clearances, and 43 passes per game on an average. Jamshedpur FC’s frontline is coming together nicely in the last couple of games and Onaindia will be tasked to neutralise their impact in this match.
Mohammed Sanan (Jamshedpur FC)
The Reliance Foundation Young Champs (RFYC) graduate scored his first ISL goal in Jamshedpur FC’s last fixture against Mohun Bagan Super Giant. The forward has gradually moved up the ranks to grab a starting spot and has been repaying Cooper’s trust in him. Monday presents him another chance to make a mark away against one of the most promising teams of the season.
Played – 16
FC Goa – 6
Jamshedpur FC – 6
Draws – 4
Trivia: In ISL 2023-24, Manolo Marquez has equaled the record (Carles Cuadrat 2018-19, Marquez 2022-23) of the best start in terms of points in an ISL season after first five games.
“Jamshedpur FC is a team that hasn’t scored too many goals, but they haven’t conceded many goals too. They are a difficult team because they are very good tactically. It’s difficult to enter their defence. Let’s see, we have 90 minutes to win this game,” FC Goa head coach Manolo Marquez quipped before the game.
“They were No. 1 in the table until Kerala Blasters won last night. They are a good team with a good coach, who did well in Hyderabad FC. We expect a very hard game. But, it’s so early in the season for anyone to get carried away with anything, like points, the table, etc. It doesn’t matter until March/April. You could get carried away at the top or get worried if you are at the bottom. The truth is that the table doesn’t reflect anything yet,” Jamshedpur FC tactician Scott Cooper said in the pre-match press conference.
Jay Gupta (3.9cr)
The fullback has scored a goal and bagged an assist in his five appearances this season
Odei Onaindia (6.1cr)
The defender will be a solid and assuring presence in the FC Goa backline
Rei Tachikawa (5.9cr)
The 25-year-old has scored once and created 11 goal-scoring chances in six games in this campaign
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