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Bengaluru tackle in-form Jamshedpur as playoff race hots up

Bengaluru FC midfielder Bruno Ramires in training. (Photo courtesy: Bengaluru FC)
Bengaluru FC midfielder Bruno Ramires in training. (Photo courtesy: Bengaluru FC)

Bengaluru FC will be keen to extend their unbeaten run in the Indian Super League when they take on Jamshedpur FC at the GMC Athletic Stadium, in Bambolim, on Saturday. The Blues, who are currently undefeated in eight previous encounters in the League, are up against the Owen Coyle-coached side, who have won their last three games on the bounce.

“Jamshedpur are a very good physical team with a lot of quality players. They have added a new striker in (Daniel) Chima, who brings a lot of speed and can score goals. They are a team against which it is tough to create chances, but I do believe we can do well as a unit,” said Pezzaiuoli, speaking to the media on the eve of the game.

Bengaluru played out a 0-0 draw against Jamshedpur in the reverse of Saturday’s fixture, in an encounter Pezzaiuoli conceded the Blues deserved more from. Incidentally, that result remains the only one that has ended goalless for either team so far this campaign.

“When we played Jamshedpur earlier this season, it was a good and tough game, but I believe we did a little bit more than them on the night and were unfortunate that we didn’t get the three points. We’ve had three games in seven days before this one, so we aren’t back to our best condition-wise, but I am certain that the players who are available to me can do the job,” said Pezzaiuoli.

Bengaluru will be without the services of Congolese striker Prince Ibara, who is suspended after picking up his fourth yellow card of the season, while Jamshedpur skipper Peter Hartley is also set to miss out. Pezzaiuoli said that while all of his players who were in quarantine have returned, their inclusion in the squad for Saturday’s game would be a late call.

“It’s true that we have players returning to the squad, but some of them have spent long periods of time within their rooms, and they are not match fit yet. We will need time to assess them and bring them back into training systematically, before we can decide whether they can play matches or not,” Pezzaiuoli added.

Kick-off between the Blues and Jamshedpur FC is at 7.30 pm and will be telecast live on the STAR Sports network, Disney+Hotstar and JioTV.

(Bengaluru FC)