It’s the business end of the Indian Super League (ISL) as teams can ill afford to drop points at this stage of the season. With the exception of three teams, namely Bengaluru FC, Chennaiyin FC and FC Pune City, who have a sizeable lead and six matches to go, you won’t predict either of the trio dropping many points before the league stage ends. Probably, they need another six or seven points to get over the line.
The rest of the pack is battling for the fourth spot and each of the teams at least have a mathematical chance of making the cut. FC Goa have the best possible chance as they have played 11 matches and have seven more to go.
On Thursday evening when these two sides face-off at the Mumbai Football Arena, neither side can really drop the points.
Alexandre Guimaraes’ team have suffered two consecutive defeats on home soil and the Costa Rican will hope that his players can put in a fighting display to get back to winning ways. They would certainly take heart from their 4-3 away win in Goa on Sunday.
On the other hand, Steve Coppell’s team wasted a number of opportunities as they could only muster a 1-0 win over listless ATK. Interestingly, Jamshedpur have won more games on the road than at home.
In the earlier fixture when these two sides met, the game ended in a 2-2 draw with Thiago Santos making a mark along with Izu Azuka.
While Jamshedpur have more or less a settled first eleven, Guimaraes sprung a surprise in Goa by including the likes of Zakeer Mundampara and Sahil Tavora. It remains to be seen if the Mumbai coach goes back to his preferred starting XI or continues with those who brought his team success in Goa.
A draw would suit FC Goa. A win would be massive for Mumbai and Jamshedpur.
A tough battle awaits.