Separated by just two points, both teams have shown that they are capable of making it to the semi-finals in recent weeks. A win for the Men of Steel will help them leapfrog the Gaurs to a top four position on the league table. Can the Red Miners avenge their first phase defeat against the Goans?
FC Goa are placed 4th in the ISL standings with 15 points from 10 games. The Gaurs began the season with a team capable of getting a top-four finish. However, Juan Ferrando’s side has shown inconsistency in results. FC Goa come into this game on the back of a disappointing 1-1 draw with SC East Bengal.
Owen Coyle’s Jamshedpur FC have not been consistent either. The Red Miners occupy the 5th spot in the table with 13 points from 10 games. Jamshedpur FC have struggled to win matches, despite taking the lead early in most of them. They lost their most recent fixture to Kerala Blasters by a 2-3 scoreline.
Juan Ferrando played a classic 4-2-3-1 formation against SC East Bengal in a 1-1 draw. The midfield failed to dictate the terms of play and the likes of Igor Angulo were left stranded upfront. Alberto Noguera and Lenny Rodrigues might be used in the latter part of the upcoming game.
Owen Coyle went with a textbook 4-3-3 line-up in his previous game with Kerala Blasters. Amarjit Singh Kiyam is expected to make a return to the squad to add stability and balance to the midfield.
Of the seven matches that have been played between the two sides, FC Goa have the edge with four wins to Jamshedpur’s two. The only draw between the two was a goalless affair in ISL 2018-19.
Jamshedpur lost the first game between the two sides this season, despite leading at half-time through Stephen Eze. An Igor Angulo penalty restored parity between the sides, before the Spaniard took away the win with a last-minute goal.
Players to Watch
Saviour Gama (FC Goa)
Saviour Gama has been a revelation this season, making the left-back starting spot his own after missing the first game through suspension. He has the most interceptions in his side, with 18 in nine matches. His defensive ability does not compromise his attacking intent, as the youngster has registered two assists already, the latest coming in a 1-1 draw against East Bengal.
The wide areas will be a key focus when the two sides face each other and responsibility will fall on Gama’s shoulders to aid in attack as well as defence.
Jackichand Singh (Jamshedpur FC)
The attacking focus of Jamshedpur boils down to one basic statistic, crossing. The Jharkhand-based outfit have played the most number of crosses among all the teams in the ISL, with 167 crosses in 10 games. The leader in the team in that category is none other than former Goa star Jackichand Singh.
FC Goa vs Jamshedpur FC predicted XIs
Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Mohammad Nawaz (GK), Ivan Gonzalez, James Donachie, Seriton Fernandes, Saviour Gama, Jorge Mendoza, Brandon Fernandes, Princeton Rebello, Alexander Jesuraj, Edu Bedia (C), Igor Angulo.
Predicted XI (4-3-3): TP Rehenesh (GK), Joyner Lourenco, Ricky Lallawmawma, Peter Hartley (C), Stephen Eze, Aitor Monroy, Alexandre Lima, Jackichand Singh, Mohammad Mobashir, Nerijus Valskis, Aniket Jadhav.
What can we expect?
FC Goa and Jamshedpur FC were two of the leading favorites to secure a top-four finish going into the ISL 2020-21 season. Both the teams bolstered their respective squads with some quality signings.
However, lack of consistency remains a problem for both. FC Goa may just edge out their opponents based on their record of being much better finishers upfront in this season.