Semi-final 1, First-leg Preview: Jamshedpur FC look to continue their dominance against Kerala Blasters FC
One of the most consistent teams in the tournament, Jamshedpur FC will look to take a step closer to their first Hero Indian Super League (ISL) title when they face Kerala Blasters FC in the first leg of their semi-final fixture at the PJN Stadium in Margao, Goa on Friday.
The Men Of Steel, making their first appearance in the last-four of the Hero ISL, have been in stunning form under head coach Owen Coyle and have won seven consecutive matches. The side sealed its top spot and picked up their first League Winners' Shield after beating ATK Mohun Bagan 1-0 in its final league stage game.
Kerala Blasters FC, on the other hand, is playing a semi-final after six years. The Tuskers come into the tie after playing a moral-draining 4-4 draw against FC Goa in their last clash, which led them to finish fourth in the league table.
Head to Head
The contests between the two sides have been so evenly fought that six out of ten matches have ended in draws. Jamshedpur FC have recorded three wins while Kerala Blasters FC have managed one. Last time when both these team met, JFC came on top by beating 3-0 in the league stage match. Owen Coyle's men are unbeaten against the Blasters this season.
Jamshedpur FC: WWWWW
Winning their last seven games, the Men of Steel are in red-hot form going into the semi-finals, knocking out every team they have faced recently. Coyle’s men ended the league stage at the top by outwitting ATKMB 1-0 in their last game, collecting a total of 43 points in 20 games.
Kerala Blasters FC: DWDLW
Vukomanovic’s team come into this game in a bit of a stuttering form. They have won just two of their last five matches, having also lost once during this period. They ended their league stage campaign on fourth spot with 34 points from 20 matches.
There are quite a few injuries in the Jamshedpur FC squad, including Boris Singh, who was taken off midway through the last game. Laldinliana Renthlei is also doubtful for the upcoming game. On the other hand, all the players of Kerala Blasters FC are available for selection.
Greg Stewart: The footballer has already proven why he is one of the best signings in the Hero ISL 2021-22, having scored and assisted 10 times each this season. As far as the stats are concerned, he was involved in almost 50% of the total goals scored by Jamshedpur FC.
Ritwik Das: The 25-years old midfielder has been exceptional for JFC in last few matches. In this season, he has already scored four goals and helped in creating one other.
Kerala Blaster FC
Adrian Luna: The 29-years old midfielder has been in superb form throughout the season, sitting at the top of the assists list for Kerala Blasters FC this season and scored five times.
Jorge Diaz: Diaz scored a brace in the last game, and took his tally for the season to eight goals. He has now scored five goals in his last six matches. Against a defensively solid Jamshedpur FC, he will be crucial to the Blasters’ chances.
JFC, the Set Piece Specialist
JFC have scored 23 goals from set-pieces this season, more than any other side. Meanwhile, they have also conceded least number goals (9) from set-pieces.
Blasters' attacking prowess
Kerala Blasters have scored 34 goals this season, the most they have managed in any season in their Hero ISL history.
Match timings and telecast details
Match: Jamshedpur FC vs Kerala Blasters FC
Date: March 11, 2022
Venue: PJN Stadium, Margao, Goa
Kick-off time: 7:30 pm IST
Telecast: Star Sports Network
Online Streaming: Disney+Hotstar and JioTV