ISL: Kerala Blasters start favourites against Jamshedpur FC

Kerala Blasters players during a training session. Photo: ISL

Kochi: High-flying Kerala Blasters take on a struggling Jamshedpur FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Tuesday.

Blasters are on a seven-match unbeaten run and have raked in 19 points out of a possible 21 from their last seven games. The Yellow Brigade have 22 points from 11 matches and are in fourth spot.

Jamshedpur on the other hand have just five points from 11 matches and are languishing at the 10th place in the 11-team ISL. The visitors have managed just a solitary win this season.

A win will see Blasters leapfrog ATK Mohun Bagan to third spot. Blasters had edged out Jamshedpur 1-0 in the earlier fixture, with Greek striker Dimitrios Diamantakos netting the winner.

Blasters will be eager to start the New Year on a winning note and keep the momentum going. The home crowd will surely spur them on.

“In Indian football, there is no place with the energy like Kerala Blasters FC. That is special,” Blasters’ head coach Ivan Vukomanovic said in the pre-match press conference.

“Our games at home are very different as compared to away matches. When we play at home, we want to give something extra. We want to be sharp, aggressive, quick in our actions, and create chances. This gives us more power in our home games. With the support of the fans, it gives you more energy and then the players will not feel tired,” he added.

The Serb, though, was in no mood to take their opponents lightly.

“Jamshedpur FC have changed in the way they approach the games. They have made a couple of changes to their squad and have brought in more quality. They were close on many occasions to getting a positive result but they somehow didn't get the points. So they are a dangerous team,” he said.

“They are very physical and have strong players. Against Jamshedpur FC, you must be ready for every duel, every corner and every long throw-in, so we have to be at our 100 per cent and not be casual,” he added.

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