Margao (Goa): Jamshedpur FC are four points away from getting into the top four and will be looking to get as many of the required points as possible when they face SC East Bengal in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Fatorda Stadium on Saturday.
After a five-game winless streak threatened their chances of making the playoffs, Jamshedpur managed to get back on track with a win over Odisha FC in their previous game.
Jamshedpur have also kept three straight clean sheets, a remarkable turnaround considering they conceded eight goals in their previous three matches. Their attack, however, needs to find form — the winner against Odisha was Jamshedpur’s first goal from open play in four games.
The last time these two teams met, East Bengal frustrated Jamshedpur despite being a man down for most of the game. East Bengal, on the other hand, are in desperate need of wins. A loss on Sunday will more or less snuff out their playoff chances.
They are winless in five games and they have not scored in three of their last four matches. They will also be missing their suspended head coach Robbie Fowler. But assistant coach Tony Grant defended his team’s displays in the league so far.
“I don’t think it’s been tough on the pitch,” he said. “When you analyse everything, the team was only put in the ISL at the last minute. We had a two-week pre-season. I think the team has done tremendously.”
Jamshedpur coach Owen Coyle said that East Bengal are a dangerous team.
“They have signed a lot of players. By their own standards, they did not perform as well against Bengaluru. So they will be looking to try and win the game and keep themselves in contention. We have to be very respectful of the qualities that they have but also try to impose our qualities. That will be the key to the game,” he said.
NEUFC take on Hyderabad
NorthEast United have closed the gap on the top four and can momentarily take third place if they beat Hyderabad FC in their next match in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Sunday.