Jamshedpur vs Bengaluru: Preview and Prediction
The Matchday 16 of the 2022-23 Indian Super League season brings up another exciting contest where two heavyweights will be quarrelling against each other in a battle for survival. Jamshedpur has returned home after conquering Kolkata and will summon Bengaluru up next as Jamshedpur’s JRD Tata Sports Complex popularly known as ‘The Furnace’ will be the venue for this forthcoming clash on Wednesday.
Bengaluru gaffer Simon Grayson has passed a wake-up call to his boys who are thriving since the elimination buzzer rang. The Blues attack which had the lowest number of goals (8) scored till the Gameweek 13 has now netted five goals in the following two fixtures. Grayson’s men occupy the eighth position in the points table and may overtake the neighborhood for Chennaiyin if things continue to move in their way.
Qualification to the playoff round at this point is going to be quite hard for the defending ISL Premiere champions. The Red Miners who had a record-breaking campaign in the previous season scoring 43 points are standing in 10th place with only 9 points under their crest. However, the Men of Steel have managed to avoid a losing outcome in their previous two games including a recent triumph over East Bengal and a high-scoring draw with Chennaiyin at home.
Jamshedpur squared off the Kolkata giants East Bengal at their fortress Salt Lake Stadium and returned to The Furnace cashing all three match points in the bank. The Red and Gold Brigade was defeated by the neighborhood rivals on a final scoreline of 2-1 despite the home team scoring the opening goal of the game. The Bengal-based midfielder Ritwik Das scored an 85th-minute winning goal while the equalizer was struck by the Australian striker Harry Sawyer.
On the other hand, the Blues hosted Odisha on the previous matchday and went on to hammer the Kalinga Warriors by 3-1. The final scoresheet featured three names Rohit Kumar, Roy Krishna, and Pablo Perez from the Karnataka-based outfit who played vital roles in their fifth victory of the 2022-23 ISL season. Meanwhile, the BFC side also did not concede any goal from field play as the only breakthrough for the Juggernauts came through a spot-kick.
These two combatants have faced each other at the country’s top-flight league only on 11 occasions as both of them were included in the Indian Super League roster. Since the primary goal for both of the latest entrants was an identical one, they were keen on establishing themselves and the rivalry between them also turned out to be a close one. The head-to-head record of this rivalry currently stands on an equivalent scoreline of 4-4 while three of the encounters remained resultless.
The most recent chapter of this rivalry occurred exactly a month ago when Bengaluru edged past the Red Miners at Sree Kanteerava Stadium in the Karnataka capital city. It was a tough game for both sides where the offensive units struggled hard to crack the opposition’s defense lines. However, the early move which eventually made the difference for the home side was a thunderous strike from the Kashmiri central midfielder Danish Farooq in the fifth minute.
Grayson’s tactic of playing back-three is finally delivering results for the Blues, especially after the comeback of Prabir Das who has mastery in performing the wing-back roles. Rohit Kumar who scored the opening goal against Odisha is likely to get another nod in the Starting Eleven ahead of benched Danish Farooq.
The most speculated change for Bengaluru is the Spanish attacking midfielder Pablo Perez making his way into the lineup in place of Javi Hernandez as a reward for his spectacular recent cameo appearance.
The Englishman Aidy Boothroyd may not consider any changes in the lineup which demolished the 10-match winless streak of the Jharkhand-based outfit. However, the Jamshedpur manager must work on the weak links and strengthen them with better options to sustain further the winning momentum.
The 26-year-old Aussie forward Harry Sawyer has proved his mettle with four ‘goal contributions’ this season and presents a strong contention to earn the first-choice status.
Predicted Starting XIs
Jamshedpur (5-3-2): Vishal Yadav; Laldinliana Renthlei, Pratik Chaudhari, Eli Sabia, Ricky Lallawmawma, PC Laldinpuia; Pranoy Halder, Raphael Crivellaro, Ritwik Das; Daniel Chima Chukwu, Harry Sawyer
Bengaluru (3-5-2): Gurpreet Singh Sandhu; Alan Costa, Sandesh Jhingan, Parag Shrivas; Prabir Das, Pablo Perez, Suresh Wangjam, Rohit Kumar, Roshan Naorem Singh; Roy Krishna, Sivashakthi Narayanan
Jamshedpur was always considered an invincible force at the Furnace but the tables have turned and the Men of Steel are unable to utilise home advantage this season. After registering the season’s first consecutive victories, the Blues are now eying on a hat-trick of wins. The prediction odds are indicating a draw outcome but Bengaluru surely has a slight psychological edge of having won the earlier face-off.