Bottom-placed FC Pune City host Jamshedpur FC at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium in Pune on Wednesday in a match which is crucial for their hopes to make it to the playoffs.
Jamshedpur FC, on the other hand, are unbeaten this season but have managed to win only two games in their seven outings. Currently, they sit in the fourth spot and now have a great chance to go up the ladder by defeating a team which is off-colour.
If Pune need any inspiration for this, if being bottom-placed isn't firing enough, they could look at their head-to-head record against Jamshedpur against which they have won both games they have played against the visitors.
FC Pune City: The home team will look to reset their form after the international break but will have to do so without Emiliano Alfaro, who has joined ATK on a loan deal. On the other hand, they have included in their ranks Hero ISL's all-time top-scorer Iain Hume to the squad. Hume, who missed the season's start, might make his Pune debut in the match against Jamshedpur and, if that is the case, might be paired with Marcelo Pereira upfront. Interim coach Reddy will also have midfielder Marko Stankovic back from injury for the match.
Jamshedpur FC: Jamshedpur will be missing some strikers in their game against Pune. Gourav Mukhi is under suspension pending a hearing by the AIFF Disciplinary Committee while Tim Cahill, who was involved in Australia's friendly against Lebanon on Tuesday, will also be unavailable. Sumeet Passi was a part of the Indian squad which travelled to Jordan for the international friendly on November 18 and was one of the seven players who were stranded at the Kuwait International Airport for 32 hours due to heavy rains. The young striker will be available for the match against Pune, but fatigue may play a factor.
Jamshedpur, however, will still be a strong unit going forward. As many as ten different players have scored for the Miners this season. Sergio Cidoncha has been brilliant so far and has been well-supported by the likes of Michael Soosairaj, Mario Arques and Memo. Head coach Cesar Ferrando will also look to fine-tune his defence, which is prone to leaking late goals. Five of the nine goals Jamshedpur have conceded this season have come in the second-half.
FC Pune City: A big worry for Pune this season has been in the defence, which has failed to keep a single clean sheet so far and has conceded 16 goals – the most by any team this season. Pune have scored six goals from 29 shots on target with a passing accuracy of 65.03 per cent.
Jamshedpur FC: Jamshedpur have scored 14 goals from 34 shots on target. They have the passing accuracy of 73.79 per cent and have managed to keep one clean-sheet.
Head-to-head: Pune City and Jamshedpur FC have faced each other on two occasions with Pune winning both times
FC Pune City: Kamaljit Singh (GK), Gurtej Singh (C), Matt Mills, Lalchhuanmawia Fanai, Martin Diaz, Adil Khan, Jonathan Vila, Marko Stankovic, Sarthak Golui, Ashique Kuruniyan, Robin Singh
Jamshedpur FC: Subrata Paul (GK), Tiri (C), Pratik Chowdhary, Bikash Jairu, Robin Gurung, Mario Arques, Pablo Morgado, Memo, Michael Soosairaj, Sergio Cidoncha, Farukh Choudhary