Margao (Goa), January 10: It's a battle of the opposites as FC Goa, the team which has scored the most number of goals hosts Jamshedpur FC, the team which has conceded the least in an Indian Super League match on Thursday (January 11).
Goa have scored at a rate of 2.5 goals per match - 20 in eight games. Jamshedpur have let in just four goals in the ISL. As JFC coach Steve Coppell put it, it will be an offence vs defence battle at the JN Stadium.
"Sounds like a good contest - test of our defence against what has been the most fluid attacking unit until now. They score goals freely as they've shown against a number of sides and it is a challenge to do our best to stop them and hurt them. We've certainly not come (here) to only keep them out - but also try to expose any weaknesses they might have at the back," said the former Manchester United player.
It may seem that Jamshedpur are willing to sit back, but Coppell also made it clear that the earnest desire was to play a more attractive brand of football.
"It's not our intention to try and get a 0-0 or squeak a game 1-0. We want to play more expansive football," he said, adding that he hopes his defence tightens up after they let in two goals in their previous game .
"Anas has been out for a while. The pitch at home is fairly demanding on its own so it was a big question whether he should play right away. It was apparently the miscommunication in the back four and we hope that is tidied up."
High-flying Goa have surprisingly not won in their last three games and it is believed it has been down to player rotation. However, head coach Sergio Lobera said it was not a case of safeguarding their interests, but that of putting players above results that forced his hand - given that they played two matches in the space of four matches.
He also confirmed that new signing Lalmuankima, who joined on a free contract from I-League champions Aizawl FC, is still not available for selection.
"I've seen every game in the league so far and I don't think teams are playing differently against us. The next few games will show whether we deserve to be in the playoffs. As for tomorrow, we will need to be at our best to beat a side which has kept five cleansheets and conceded just four goals," the Spaniard said.
FC Goa vs Jamshedpur FC
Indian Super League
Live from Goa
On Star Sports 2 and Hotstar
At 8 pm
Source: ISL Media