Jamshedpur, Jan 17: Jamshedpur FC and Bengaluru FC will lock horns in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) on Wednesday (January 18) at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur.
The Red Miners will aim to go level on points with East Bengal FC, while the Blues will be eager to clinch three points and cut the deficit to the final playoff spot down to a single point.
A ten-game winless streak was laid to rest by Jamshedpur FC last week when they overcame East Bengal FC with a rousing comeback win, turning the tables after going a goal down, to earn their second victory of the season.
Head coach Aidy Boothroyd rolled the dice close to the hour mark, and the right numbers came up. His substitutions made the desired impact and contributed to both goals scored by Jamshedpur FC. Harry Sawyer scored his first goal of the season before Ritwik Das won it for Boothroyd's men.
Sawyer's contribution in the last game could earn him a start over Daniel Chukwu, who has scored just once in his last ten Hero ISL games. At the other end of the pitch, Sawyer's compatriot and new recruit Dylan Fox is likely to make his debut if he recovers from a slight niggle that kept him out of the previous game.
"Dylan Fox has had a number of niggles which we are monitoring. We have brought him in to play, but he has not featured yet. Hopefully, we can get him fit in the next few days", said Boothroyd, providing an update on the defender.
Speaking about the previous game, Boothroyd said, "It was very satisfying. We have come really close to winning games on multiple occasions, especially at home. Scoring in the closing stages of the game meant that we kept pushing till the end. I saw renewed confidence and maturity in the team."
Bengaluru FC are building momentum after securing two back-to-back wins for the first time this season. The Blues scored more than two goals for the first time in this edition of the Hero ISL when they beat Odisha FC 3-1 just three days ago.
Midfielder Rohit Kumar scored his first goal for the club before Roy Krishna ended his ten-game goal drought. In second-half stoppage time, Pablo Perez got off the mark for his new club. Events like these will surely raise the spirits inside the Blues camp as they look to turn around the season so far.
"Both teams have progressed over the past few weeks. Our results have certainly been better. Aidy is getting his team off a good win recently as well. Both teams want to climb higher and see how high we can finish in the league," said Grayson.
"They can play different systems. New players have joined the club recently. We are fully focused on the opposition and what system they could play against us. But we have to concentrate on what we do as well and be clinical and not concede goals," he added.
The two sides have clashed 11 times in the Hero ISL. Both sides have won four times each and three games have ended in a draw. The Blues have a chance to do a double over Jamshedpur FC this season as the reverse fixture ended 1-0 in favour of Bengaluru FC.
Match Date: Wednesday, January 18
Kick Off Time: 7:30 PM IST
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