ISL 2020-21 Preview: Winless Jamshedpur FC faces unbeaten ATK Mohun Bagan

Owen Coyle's Jamshedpur FC is currently winless in its last nine Indian Super League (ISL) matches and has not managed a clean sheet in 16 games.

Owen Coyle (left) and Antonio Habas will meet for the first time since last season's final.   -  SPORTZPICS/ISL

ATK Mohun Bagan will look to continue its stunning start to the season and earn its fourth win on the trot when it faces Jamshedpur FC in the Indian Super League (ISL 2020-21) at the Tilak Maidan on Monday. 

Jamshedpur FC, the designated home side, is looking for its first victory of the season after collecting a loss and two draws in its three opening encounters. It’s been a below-par start for Owen Coyle’s side, with its defence proving to be its weakness thus far. Jamshedpur FC has allowed 17 shots on target this season, the most in the league. Adding to Coyle’s woes is the fact that the team is currently winless in its last nine ISL matches and has not managed a clean sheet in 16 games.

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ATK Mohun Bagan, led by champion coach Antonio Habas, has enjoyed a perfect start to the season. Yet to concede a goal, it is the only club to remain undefeated. While Roy Krishna has spearheaded the attack with three goals in as many matches, the side’s defence has also been infallible. Featuring the likes of Sandesh Jhingan, Tiri and Prabir Das, ATK Mohun Bagan has faced only four shots on target -- the fewest in the league.

Coyle, who led Chennaiyin FC to a runner-up finish last season, is well aware of the task at hand. “Every game is a challenge. The league has shown that every game is very tight. ATK Mohun Bagan has started well and achieved some good results but they have all been very close games. We showed in our recent performances that we can go toe-to-toe (with anyone). We need to convert the draws into wins and get the three points,” he said.

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The Englishman will hope that his side’s star striker Nerijus Valskis, who won the Golden Boot last year, will come good against ATK Mohun Bagan. “We have shown that we can score goals. I think we’ll have to make sure that we are more solid and not give up on chances,” he added.   

Habas, who will face Coyle for the first time since last season’s final, noted that his side’s strong defensive display has instilled confidence in the team. “It’s important to start the competition with three clean sheets. The team acquired confidence, progressed and improved as this is the best way forward. The secret is more tactical discipline and effort,” he said.

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The Spaniard conceded that his side had room for improvement: “We have to improve in central midfield. I think Jamshedpur will be a difficult team for us. They have good players in the squad and I know Owen and he will prepare the team well.” 

ATK Mohun Bagan will continue to miss the services of winger Michael Soosairaj, who is unlikely to play this season after suffering a knee injury. Meanwhile, Jamshedpur FC will be boosted by the T. P. Rehenesh’s return to the squad after a one-match ban.

- THE 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

ATK MOHUN BAGAN FC: Arindam Bhattacharja, Dheeraj Singh, Arsh Shaikh, Aryan Niraj Lamba, Avilash Paul, Tiri, Sandesh Jhingan, Prabir Das, Pritam Kotal, Subhasish Bose, Sumit Rathi, Boris Singh Thangjam, Edu Garcia, Javier Hernandez, Carl McHugh, Glan Martins, Michael Soosairaj, Jayesh Rane, Pronay Halder, Bradden Inman, Michael Regin, Sahil Sheikh, Ningombam Engson Singh, Md. Fardin Ali Molla, Roy Krishna, David Williams, Manvir Singh

Match Facts:

Time: 7:30pm

Venue: Tilak Maidan

 

Listen | Check out our analysis of matchweek 2 of the Indian Super League on our football podcast, The Full Time Show.