Injury forces Tim Cahill to miss the match
Kolkata/ Jamshedpur: Its crunch time when it comes to qualification for the play-off spots in the Indian Super League! Only a few games remain with even fewer spots left in the top four. Both teams in contention tomorrow have the ability to get into the top four, thus making this clash a nail biting and pulsating clash to watch.
After holding FC Goa to a goalless draw in what was an impressive defensive performance, the side from Jamshedpur will shift their focus on a crucial away game against ATK. Over the course of the season, Jamshedpur FC has accumulated too many draws which they cannot afford to while going forward in the business end of the season.
Steve Coppel’s side is known for its resolute defense and for the miserly chances they concede to their opponents, but the team’s sore point is up front where the side from Kolkata has failed to deliver. ATK have only registered eleven goals this season, the fewest for any side in the league.
With a crucial tie on the horizon, the onus will be on Jamshedpur FC to take charge of the game and dominate proceedings. When these two sides last met at the Furnace in October, the hosts dominated possession of the ball and created a number of goal scoring opportunities. However, Jamshedpur FC failed to make the most of their chances and squandered the moments to register all three points on Steve Coppell’s homecoming. The game ended with one goal apiece for both the sides with Sergio Cidoncha and Manuel Lanzarote getting in on the scoresheet.
Jamshedpur FC suffered a huge blow in the form of Tim Cahill’s hand injury which he sustained in his cameo appearance against FC Goa. During a chat with the media personnel, Cesar Ferrando also revealed that Michael Soosairaj and Raju Gaikwad are out of contention for tomorrow’s game.
Talking on the team’s performances until now, Ferrando said, “We have drawn a lot of matches, but I think we give our hundred percent in every match we play. I still think we need more quality in the final third. If you want to score goals, you need to have that quality and in the last match we didn’t have that. When you draw so many times, I think you have to improve the way you attack.”
Previewing tomorrow’s clash, the boss further said, “Tomorrow a draw for either team will be very bad. If we draw tomorrow, then we need to win our next two matches against Mumbai and Pune. It will be a tough match tomorrow because both teams will want to win. It will be a difficult match tomorrow because ATK is a good team with good players and with a good coach and they are playing at home. It will be an interesting match!”
Meanwhile, ATK’s Kalu Uche is returning to full fitness after making an appearance in their last game against Kerala Blasters. The prolific striker is expected to be on the bench while Balwant Singh is expected to lead the line for the Bangla Brigade.
Both teams have won four ties so far this season, but the key difference between the two sides is that Jamshedpur FC have lost only once in the league while ATK have lost as many times as they have won. If Jamshedpur FC win tomorrow’s fixture, they will establish a clear lead over ATK, who are right below them in the league table. A win for Jamshedpur FC is the need of the hour and earning that against another playoff contender will go a long way in making a timely statement.