Jamshedpur FC play their final home game of the Hero Indian Super League season against ATK Mohun Bagan on Thursday, knowing full well that nothing less than a win would be accepted by the home support after a tough campaign.
However, the signs of improvement are there for all to see. A win against NorthEast United FC last time out was proof that the team is moving in the right direction, and even in defeat against Mumbai City FC, the team looked good enough for a win.
Against the might of ATKMB, JFC would need their players to step up, and the following key battles would be worth keeping an eye on.
TP Rehenesh vs Vishal Kaith
TP Rehenesh kept a rare clean sheet against NEUFC last time out, and since returning to the starting lineup, has looked like he is back in the form that led the Men of Steel to the league shield trophy last season.
The Kerala native’s good form has come at just the right time as far as Jamshedpur are concerned. While the playoffs seem out of reach, there is a significant push coming up towards the end of the campaign, and coming up against the Mariners’ Vishal Kaith would be a significant battle in this game.
Kaith has put in some wonderful performances of his own for the Kolkata outfit, and will look to keep a clean sheet like he did against JFC the last time these two sides met in December.
Boris Singh vs Subhasish Bose
Boris Singh has been in electrifying form this season for Jamshedpur, and he is expected to come up against Subhasish Bose this Thursday.
Boris scored against Mumbai in the last home game for the Men of Steel, and was influential in the win against NorthEast too, highlighting his importance to the team.
Subhasish has been equally good for the Mariners, and has made the left back spot his own, but the pace of Boris will prove a huge challenge come match day.
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas vs Pritam Kotal
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas has worked his way back into the team and looked at his best against the Highlanders in the last game, and will look to cement his place in the team with a good performance against ATKMB.
He’s expected to come up against the strength of Pritam Kotal in this one, who has had another solid campaign at the Mariners, shielding the back line and providing options going forward.
This promises to be an interesting contest on paper and fans can expect some fiery encounters between the duo come Thursday.