It's JFC versus NUFC today

BATTLE-READY: (From top) JFC players train at Tata Football Academy grounds in Bistupur, Jamshedpur, on Friday and Jamshedpur FC head coach Steve Coppell at a news meet at JRD Tata Sports Complex. Northeast FC coach Avram Grant also interacts with journalists at the sports complex. Pictures by Bhola Prasad

Jamshedpur: JFC would like to continue with their good run when they take on Northeast United FC in an ISL clash at JRD Tata Sports Complex on Saturday.

The home side, who are currently at No. 4 position with 22 points from 14 matches, seems pretty well placed in the match keeping in mind the recent run of wins. Steve Coppell's boys won three matches (out of four) played recently. They beat Delhi Dynamos (3-2 in Jamshedpdur), ATK (1-0 in Calcutta) and Mumbai City FC (2-1 in Mumbai) but lost to FC Pune City (0-1 in Pune).

Northeast, on the other hand, are at the ninth position with 11 points from 13 matches, way behind Jamshedpur. The stakes are in favour of the home side but a lot will depend on how both sides perform.

Coppell said JFC will have to aim for 3 points in all the upcoming encounters which are must-win matches. "I am hoping for the good run to continue in the match versus Northeast. All the matches ahead hold significance for us. I am aware about it," he said on Friday.

Asked if he was confident of a semi-final berth, the JFC head coach said he does not believe in looking very far into the tournament. "I am looking at our next match. I believe in working with small blocks. I also firmly believe we can win tomorrow's match. If we don't, we will work on the shortcomings," Coppell said adding some of the team members were having niggles.

On why South African forward Sameehg Douti was being benched, Coppell said he was inclined to continue with the winning combination. "Douti doesn't fit into our scheme of things," he added.

Coppell's counterpart Avram Grant said JFC was a strong side with a solid forward line and defence. "JFC have conceded very few goals in the league stage. But we'll try to spot their weakness and go for the attack," he said.

Like in the earlier six matches, Saturday's outing is also set to witness a full house at the 24,000-capacity stadium. Over 18,000 tickets have already been sold online and offline. Tickets will continue to be sold till 7pm on Saturday. Match starts at 8pm.


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