The Yellow Army will be hoping to register their first win of the new year. They have already lost their first two games this year, one against Mumbai City FC (0-2) and the other against Odisha FC (2-4).
On the other hand, the Red Miners have had a long break. This will be their first game of the new year. They won their last game 1-0 against Bengaluru FC.
Kerala are at the tenth spot with 6 points in 9 games. Jamshedpur are at fifth with 13 points from 9 games and a victory will see them move up to the third place.
Kerala Blasters vs Jamshedpur FC Preview
Jamshedpur FC are still unbeaten against their opponents. They have won twice and drawn four games against Kerala. They also scored ten goals against the Yellow Army. However, their head coach Owen Coyle knows that it won’t be easy against a wounded Blasters side.
“We have been working hard and are looking forward to playing. We have one or two players who are coming back. When we get a chance on the pitch, we need to try and win every game. Kerala Blasters will be dangerous opponents. We have to make sure that we are at our best,”Owen Coyle
Now, Kibu Vicuna’s Kerala have endured a difficult season so far. They have lost five of their nine games and are currently at tenth. They only have one win, which was against Hyderabad FC. In their last game, the Blasters lost 2-4 against the bottom side Odisha FC. The Spanish coach has shown optimism while facing the press. He said that his team is trying to improve and will bounce back in the upcoming games.
“It was a difficult night (against Odisha FC). Since that match, we have been preparing. We trained yesterday and we are going to train today. In football, you have to bounce back, show personality that we are a good team. We are trying to improve… I am sure that this team can get good results,”Kibu Vicuna
Key Players and Score Prediction
Kerala Blasters have many quality players in their team. Players like Rahul KP and Jordan Murray have pace and they can hurt Jamshedpur via counter-attacks. Moreover, Gary Hooper can change the game on his own if he is in form. Also goalkeeper Albino Gomes is in great form. He has made the most saves (28) in the tournament so far and saved three penalties.
In the Jamshedpur FC side, the key player is their striker Nerijus Valskis. He already has scored six goals this season despite failing to find the goal in the last three games. The Lithuanian striker also had five goal contributions in the last season when he was playing for Chennaiyin FC. Also, TP Rehnesh is in good form and has made 27 saves already in this season.
Score Prediction: Kerala Blasters 1-3 Jamshedpur FC
Although Kerala Blasters showed spirit and played well in the later stages of their last game, they might not be able to stop Jamshedpur FC who have defeated ATK Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC this season.