Wednesday , February 8 2023

Bengaluru FC look to stretch winning run at Jamshedpur FC!

Bengaluru FC’s quest for a spot in the playoffs continues, this time with a trip to Jamshedpur. The Blues will look to make it three consecutive wins when they visit the home of the Red Miners on Wednesday, after Simon Grayson’s men won back-to-back games for the first time this season.

Having met 11 times in the ISL, the two teams have won four games apiece along with three drawn fixtures. The Blues defeated Jamshedpur FC at the Fortress in the reverse fixture, thanks to an early goal from Danish Farooq.

“The two teams have progressed well since we last played each other. Our performances have certainly improved. I’ve seen Jamshedpur FC’s performances and they’ve chopped and changed a bit to accommodate their players. But it’s a game that both teams are desperate to win,” said Grayson, addressing the media ahead of the game.

Jamshedpur FC broke their 10-game winless streak with a 2-1 win away at East Bengal FC last Friday, having gone a goal down early in the game. Forwards Ritwik Das and Daniel Chima Chukwu come into the game on Wednesday in good form having scored three goals each. Their form, along with the creativity of Rafael Crivellaro and the physical presence of Harry Sawyer, poses a potent threat to the Blues’ defence.

Ahead of the game, Grayson praised his opponents’ versatility. He mused, “They’re a team that can play different systems, and are strong and powerful. There are players who have come to the club recently as well. We are focused on them and what system they could potentially play against us. But we’ve also got to focus on what we do.”

The Englishman further added, “It’ll be a good experience coming to the Furnace. There’s going to be a big crowd and that’s something that we have to deal with as the away team. When you look at their performances, they have been better over the last few weeks. We fully respect the opposition but we certainly are not fearful of anyone.“

Roy Krishna, who scored his first goal at the Kanteerava in the Blues’ previous game against Odisha FC, will relish the prospect of playing against Jamshedpur. The Fijian has scored six times in seven ISL games against Aidy Boothroyd’s side. He has further assisted three times in those games, including the winner for Danish when the two sides met at the Kanteerava earlier in the season. Blues’ skipper Sunil Chhetri too will fancy his chances, having scored five goals in 11 ISL games against the Red Miners.

“We’ve got to concentrate on what we can do to go and win three points, to build off the previous wins and try to make it three wins out of three if possible,” Grayson said, laying down the marker for his boys come Wednesday.

Bengaluru FC midfielder Rohit Kumar who scored his first goal for the club against Odisha FC echoed the sentiments of the head coach by saying, “I’m always happy to contribute to the team. For now, I have to keep working hard and try to improve in each and every game as it comes. We have six games and hopefully we make it to the playoffs by keeping this momentum and continuing to win games.”

A win against Jamshedpur FC would take Bengaluru FC to 19 points, leaving them just a point adrift of the final ISL playoff spot.

Kick-off between the Blues and Jamshedpur FC is scheduled for 7:30pm IST on Wednesday, and will be telecast live on the STAR Sports Network, Disney+Hotstar and JioTV.

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