Jamshedpur, Feb 7: Jamshedpur FC will have to play out of their skin as they host Mumbai City FC at the JRD Tata Sports Complex here on Friday, February 8. Hosts JFC have been rendered twin blows as injuries to Michael Soosairaj and star forward Tim Cahill will not be in action in this crucial match.
The team has already lost local lad Gourav Mukhi and Carlos Calvo to suspensions.
It should be a must win match for the Men of Steel against one of the top ranked teams in the league. The JFC team had a practice session on the eve of the match at the Flatlet Ground in the morning while their Mumbai counterparts trained at the same venue in the evening before the match.
The race for a semi-final spot in the Indian Super League (ISL) has reached a critical stage and Jamshedpur FC know they have to stitch together a winning streak starting with their clash against Mumbai on the morrow.
The Men of Steel are currently fifth on the table (20 points) and are three points off the fourth spot. With just four games left to play in the league, Jamshedpur FC cannot afford to drop points and lose ground in the race for the play-offs.
Cesar Ferrando’s men come into the clash on the back of a 1-2 loss against ATK and they will be hoping to get their campaign back on track against the Mumbai City FC at home.
While their recent results have not been the most inspiring, Ferrando does not think there is any issue with his team’s defense.
Although they beat Mumbai by 2-0 in the initial fixture the season, Ferrando knows his team will not have it easy this time around.
The absence of star forward Tim Cahill and Michael Soosairaj to injuries and Gourav Mukhi and Carlos Calvo to suspensions are problem areas for Jamshedpur. But the fact that they have not lost to Mumbai City at all in the ISL so far will give them confidence.
Jamshedpur are grappling with a host of injuries and suspensions but Ferrando believes losing Michael Soosairaj is the biggest blow to the side.
The Spanish coach is looking for a vital contribution from his compatriot Sergio Cidoncha in the clash against Mumbai.
Jamshedpur FC will need to be wary of Mumbai’s counter-attacking strategy though. They do not mind giving the majority of possession to their opponents and prefer stunning teams on the counter.
The pace of their forward line which consists the likes of Arnold Issoko, Moudou Sougou and Rafael Bastos has been utilised to deadly effect by coach Jorge Costa — something that Ferrando needs to be cautious about. However, Sougou did not play in Mumbai’s last match due to a hamstring injury, though he has travelled to Jamshedpur.
Mumbai are looking to breach the psychological 30-point barrier with a win and inch to within a point of league leaders Bengaluru FC. Expect Mumbai City to be cautious and prudent in the way they approach this game.