Newcomers Jamshedpur FC and defending champions ATK would look to lock their first win of the season when they take on each other in an Indian Super League match in Jamshedpur.
The two teams are based 300 kilometres apart but only a point separates them after their first two games. Jamshedpur, in fact, are a point more than the defending champions with two draws in two games, but they have not yet scored in 180 minutes of football.
ATK, on the other hand, started their campaign with a 0-0 draw against Kerala Blasters before succumbing to a 1-4 home loss at the hands of FC Pune City. Two English managers, Steve Coppell and Teddy Sheringham, who both played for Manchester United, will lock horns on Friday and it will be a big occasion for Jamshedpur as they
play their first game at home.
“I’ve seen that the stadium gets packed in Jharkhand when a cricket match takes place here, so it would be amazing to see the stadium packed for a football match too. We are very proud to be part of this historic match,” Jamshedpur midfielder Mehtab Hossain said.
Coppell hinted that fans will see a slightly different approach at home compared to the first two games, which Jamshedpur played away from home. “Now the onus is on us as the home team to go for the three points and that is what we will do tomorrow,” he said.
Sheringham spoke about the experience of travelling to the city on a train and was impressed with the facilities at Jamshedpur. However, he said he was disappointed with the loss in the previous game.
“It’s an important match for us especially after that loss but you brush yourselves off and prepare for the next game and that’s what we’ve done,” he said. ATK have been found wanting up front and Sheringham said that his main striker Robbie Keane was still out with injury, with the verdict being that he was “hoping to have him back
Keane’s return becomes vital for the side because Finnish striker Njazi Kuqi has been misfiring. Fourteen of ATK’s 23 shots have been off target in their campaign so far and despite keeping meaningful possession, their defence was caught napping on multiple occasions against Pune City after a solid display in the opener.