The weekend commences and so does an important clash in the top half of the table. The Men of Steel will host the mighty Highlanders at the Furnace tomorrow in a high profile clash.
Jamshedpur FC were quick to bounce back from their first defeat of the season by defeating the defending champions Chennaiyin FC in a comprehensive 3-1 victory in their last game. An important thing to ponder on for the Jamshedpur faithful will be the fact that the Highlanders are yet to lose an away match this season. What makes things interesting is that the hosts, Jamshedpur FC are still undefeated at home. All this makes tomorrow’s encounter a must watch.
NorthEast United FC are gathering a winning run of sorts by winning their previous two games with the most recent victory coming against FC Pune City. The Highlanders scored twice and kept an impressive clean sheet against the likes of Ian Hume and Marcelinho in attack.
On the prospect of facing the Highlanders tomorrow, Cesar Ferrando, Jamshedpur FC’s head coach had the following to say, “NorthEast United FC are a good team, they play very well. They have won their last two matches and they are on a good run. But we want to continue playing the way we are.”
When these two sides met earlier in Guwahati this season, the match had ended in an entertaining 1-1 draw. It was a game that had a lot of talking points, most pertinent of which was the Mislav Komorski red card. Unfortunately, the Men of Steel couldn’t make the most of the advantage that was given to them and the game ended in a frustrating draw for the Men of Steel, a game which the side from Jharkhand should have won.
Here’s what Cesar Ferrando had to say when asked about what his team needs to do in order to ensure a victory this time around, “Every match is different, but we have to play the same way. We have to keep the ball and be sharp during set-pieces. We need to keep a clean sheet and we must win. We have good players but we have to play as a team to win”.
The previous game at the Furnace saw a very unusual name on the scoresheet, Mario Arques. The Spaniard is normally known for assisting goals and dictating the tempo of the game. His headed goal from a corner against Chennaiyin FC in Jamshedpur FC’s previous game sealed the fate of the match and thwarted any hope of a comeback by the Marina Machans.
However, this was not the first time that Mario had used his head to score goals. His first came against Mumbai City FC with a late run into the box. Apart from pulling the strings in the center of the pitch, Mario Arques should also be considered as an aerial threat with his late runs into the box and accurate heading ability. We have seen this season that whenever Mario has a good game, Jamshedpur FC have a good game too!
When it comes to the main man for NorthEast United FC, Bartholomew Ogbeche should be considered as a real and prominent threat. The French forward has an impressive tally of scoring 8 goals in 8 matches this season and he is the joint top-scorer in the league with only Ferran Corominas of FC Goa matching his goal tally.
Another important player for the Highlanders is Federico Gallego. The Uruguayan midfielder possesses a wide range of passing along with an ability to create space for his teammates, either by dropping back or by having a free role, making it difficult for the opposition defence to mark him properly. The Jamshepur FC defence should keep close tabs on these two forwards in order to attain a clean sheet.
Both teams adhere to a certain style of play and never shy away from keeping possession of the ball. The result of this encounter will hugely rely on how both teams take the chances they create. It proves to be an enticing encounter tomorrow as both teams belong in the top half of the table and share the ability to consistently score and achieve results.