Bengaluru vs Jamshedpur: Preview and Prediction
The third and most awaited edition of the 2023 Super Cup enters its knockout stages where we are only left with four surviving clubs to battle out for the prestigious trophy.
The winners of Group A Bengaluru will be taking on the Jamshedpur side that topped the Group C standings as the tickets to the final will be on the line. This forthcoming first Semi-final clash of the 2023 Super Cup between these two Indian Super League outfits will be hosted by EMS Stadium of Kozhikode City on this fantastic Friday evening.
The ‘Simon Grayson Era’ for the Karnataka Blues commenced on a thumping note when they outclassed each and every opponent lifting their maiden Durand Cup title to kick-start the 2022-23 campaign.
Namma Bengaluru continued the triumphant chariot into the Indian top-flight league and finished as the runners-up of ISL after losing the final clash with ATK Mohun Bagan on penalties. BFC is posing as the title favorites in their third consecutive Super Cup appearance as the West Block Blues are backing their knights to replicate the heroics of the inaugural edition.
Meanwhile, the Red Miners have made it to the penultimate round of the Super Cup for the first time in the club’s history after being eliminated by Goa from the quarter-finals in both of their previous two appearances.
The League Winners of the 2021-22 ISL miserably failed to defend their title after finishing 10th in the 2022-23 league stages which was also their worst-ever campaign to date. However, the Jharkhand-based outfit bounced back in the very next tournament to top their respective group with an Invincible record to advance to the knockout stages.
The 2022 Durand Cup champions were placed along with Kerala Blasters, Sreenidi Deccan and RoundGlass Punjab into the Group of Death which later turned out to be the most competitive pool of the tournament.
The Deccan Warriors’ defeat at the hands of the 2022-23 I-League winners in the last group fixture opened the gates to the knockout round for the Blues who fetched a point in the final game and sealed the semi-final berth. Bengaluru held the Kerala Blasters side for a 1-1 draw at EMS Stadium where star strikers from both sides, Roy Krishna and Dimitrios Diamantakos got their names on the scoresheet.
The Men of Steel are undoubtedly having the best campaign of the competition till now after not dropping a single point and completing a hat-trick of wins against heavyweights.
A 69th-minute winner from the Indian forward Ishan Pandita against the home team Gokulam Kerala got them through in a nail-biting 3-2 contest. Aidy Boothroyd and his boys showcased an aggressive style of football after scoring the most number of goals (11) while their Goal Difference of 6 is also the highest in the tournament.
These two high-profile outfits were introduced to the Indian top-flight football league in the same year 2017-18 when Indian Super League expanded its roster to 10 teams. However, they never got any opportunity to square off with each other in the Super Cup as this is going to be their first encounter in this competition.
They have faced each other on 12 occasions in ISL and the head-to-head record of those encounters slightly favors the BFC by 5-4 along with three draw settlements. The Blues are thriving on an unbeaten streak of four straight games over their eastern counterparts as the Red Miners couldn’t even claim all three points in their Premiership-winning campaign.
Bengaluru edged past the Red Miners by 1-0 in their first encounter of the season at Sree Kanteerava Stadium which also turned out to be their only win in the month of December 2022. Namma Blues once again emerged victorious at The Furnace where Rohit Kumar, Roy Krishna and Sivashakthi Narayanan contributed one goal each in the emphatic victory while Gurpreet Singh Sandhu kept a second clean sheet against the same opposition.
After missing out on the RoundGlass Punjab fixture, the veteran Fijian striker Roy Krishna marked his return to the starting lineup with the opening goal against the Blasters. The BFC gaffer Simon Grayson has entrusted the 4-2-3-1 formation throughout the group stages and is likely to continue forward the same in knockouts as well.
The only expected change in Bengaluru’s starting XI is Udanta Singh to be ousted in favor of another pacy forward Sivashakthi Narayanan who is waiting for his turn on the bench.
The 26-year-old Aussie striker Harry Sawyer was the only foreign face in the starting lineup of Jamshedpur in a dead-rubber group fixture with Gokulam Kerala. Aidy Boothroyd will be placing his first-choice foreign quadruplet of Eli Sabia, Rafael Crivellaro, Daniel Chima Chukwu, and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas onto the battlefield.
Hence, we can expect hefty changes in the starting lineup of the Red Miners who previously fielded a second-string XI after having already been qualified for the semi-final round.
Predicted Starting XIs
Bengaluru (4-2-3-1): Gurpreet Singh Sandhu; Naorem Roshan Singh, Sandesh Jhingan, Bruno Ramires, Namgyal Bhutiya; Suresh Singh Wangjam, Rohit Kumar; Sunil Chhetri, Javi Hernandez, Sivashakthi Narayanan; Roy Krishna
Jamshedpur (4-2-3-1): TP Rehenesh; Lalrinliana Renthlei, Eli Sabia, Pratik Chaudhari, Ricky Lallawmawma; Jitendra Singh, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas; Ritwik Das, Rafael Crivellaro, Boris Singh; Daniel Chima
It is going to be an exciting contest of football between the two sides who are presenting the strongest contention for the silverware.
Bengaluru has had a better campaign in the 2022-23 season along with a position head-to-head record against the Red Miners but an inconsistent performance in the group stages is diminishing their chances to make a second final appearance.
Jamshedpur has outclassed each and every opponent they have faced in this competition till now and is also having brighter chances to barge into the Super Cup final for the first time.