ISL 2020-21 preview: Struggling Kerala Blasters eyes redemption against Jamshedpur FC

Kibu Vicuna's faltering Kerala Blasters FC will be looking for redemption when it takes on Owen Coyle's Jamshedpur FC in a 2020-21 Indian Super League game.

Kerala Blasters has just won one game so far.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

Kibu Vicuna's faltering Kerala Blasters FC will be looking for redemption when it takes on Owen Coyle's Jamshedpur FC in a 2020-21 Indian Super League game at Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco da Gama on Sunday.

Fifth-placed Jamshedpur, with 13 points from nine matches, needs a win to make it back to the top-four this season, while Vicuna might have his job on the line due to Kerala's miserable run of form, claiming just one victory so far.

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But the KBFC head coach, whose side was beaten 2-4 by another struggling side Odisha FC on Thursday, feels his squad has what it takes to bounce back quickly.

READ: Still searching for win, Odisha FC ready for Kerala

“It was a difficult night. Since that match (against OFC), we have been preparing well. We trained yesterday, and we're going to train today. In football, you have to bounce back, show personality that you're a good team,” Vicuna told during the pre-match press conference.

The Blasters have conceded the most goals -- 17 -- among the 11 teams in the ongoing ISL edition. Vicuna's style of play has often been criticised, mainly because of its vulnerability during counter-attacks. However, the former Mohun Bagan boss asserted that he has always chosen strategies based on the opponent.

“It's not a question of style. The teams are different, and the players are different. We're making changes, and not playing the same style from the start. We're trying to improve and correct (the mistakes) with the team we have. I'm sure that this team can get good results. It's not a question of being stubborn with a style," said the 2019-20 I-League winner.   

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Meanwhile, JFC manager Coyle believes Kerala has been extremely unlucky in the 2020-21 ISL when it comes to individual errors and finishing chances.

“If you look at Kerala's games, they have been very unlucky. In their last game, they lost 4-2 but they could have scored five or six goals. Against Mumbai City FC, they put themselves two-nothing down because of individual errors but they could have again scored two or three.

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“When teams have disappointing results, they can be dangerous. They have some wonderful players. I think it will be a difficult game and we have to make sure that we bring the same work ethic that we brought in the first nine games,” he added.

Coyle also claimed that there's a possibility that he might look into the transfer market in January and recruit Indian players if they can strengthen his current squad. “When you look to get new players, I always suggest that you get those better than you already have. It has to be domestic players because we have a full quota of foreigners. If there's a young player who can enhance what we're doing at Jamshedpur now, I think we would be interested," he concluded.

New foreign signing Juande is expected to miss KBFC's next game, and Jamshedpur full-back Laldinliana Renthlei is a major doubt for the clash as well.  

Squads

Jamshedpur FC: TP Rehenesh, Pawan Kumar, Niraj Kumar, Raj Mahato, Vishal Yadav, Peter Hartley, Stephen Eze, Narender Gehlot, Joyner Lourenco, Laldinliana Renthlei, Karan Amin, Manash Protim Gogoi, Sandip Mandi, Ricky Lallawmawma, Subhash Barua, Aitor Monroy, Alex Lima, Jackichand Singh, Nicholas Fitzgerald, Issac Vanmalsawma, Amarjit Singh, Mobashir Rahman, Jitendra Singh, Manisana Singh, Harsha Parui, Billu Teli, Gorachand Mardi, Gaurab, Bhupender Singh, Nerijus Valskis, David Grande, Aniket Jadhav, Sapam Kennedy Singh, William Lalnunfela.

Kerala Blasters FC: Albino Gomes, Bilal Khan, Prabhsukhan Singh Gill, Muheet Khan, Costa Nhamoinesu, Nishu Kumar, Bakary Kone, Jessel Carneiro, Sandeep Singh, Abdul Hakku, Lalruatthara, Sergio Cidoncha, Sahal Abdul Samad, Vicente Gomez, Seityasen Singh, Rahul KP, Givson Singh, Lalthathanga Khawlhring, Yendrembam Denechandra, Nongdamba Naorem, Arjun Jayaraj, Ayush Adhikari, Jeakson Singh, Prasanth Karuthadathkuni, Ritwik Das, Rohit Kumar, Gary Hooper, Jordan Murray, Facundo Pereyra, Naorem Mahesh Singh, Shaiborlang Kharpan.