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Injury-ridden Jamshedpur FC look for desperate turnaround against East Bengal FC

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Jamshedpur FC will host East Bengal FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur on Sunday as both sides look to recover from shocking defeats. Impact substitutes in their respective last games had a significant in the result of the encounters as they continued to stay in the bottom half of the table.

Jamshedpur FC thought they had secured a point when Ishan Pandita scored the leveller in the 76th minute against Chennaiyin FC, only to see themselves trailing the very next minute. The Red Miners went on to lose the game 3-1 as another tactical tweak failed to deliver for head coach Aidy Boothroyd.

Wellington Priori was stretchered off in the 16th minute of that game after suffering a groin injury. The midfielder joins an ever-growing list of injuries at the club, which already has the names of Germanpreet Singh and three more players. However, Daniel Chukwu will be back in the squad to face East Bengal FC. 

“It would be wonderful to be able to look at our squad and think that okay, that’s the way we are going to play. But we have had so many injuries that I have had to be flexible and pick a team that suits the players,” said Boothroyd. “It’s not about trying to find a magic way of playing. It’s about getting everybody fit so that we are strong and we can not only start games well but also finish them well,” he concluded.

East Bengal FC were off to a flyer in their match against Odisha FC as they headed into the half-time break with a 2-0 advantage. However, substitute Pedro Martin squared it all up just three minutes into the second half with a quickfire brace before another substitute, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, turned the game on its head. The Torch Bearers went on to lose 4-2. 

East Bengal FC have concerns of their own in midfield after Charis Kyriakou was stretchered off in the early stages of the second half against the Juggernauts. The Cypriot is still in contention to play the game against the Red Miners, but a final decision will be made on matchday.

“They are the Shield holders, so they have my respect. They have a good coach in Aidy Boothroyd, who has been in the game for a long time and knows what he’s doing, and they’ve got quality players,” said head coach Stephen Constantine. “We respect all the teams that we play. We are not coming here to lose the game. We are going to try and win. Hopefully, we can go back to Kolkata with three points,” he added.

A win for the Torch Bears could see them move five points clear of Jamshedpur FC, and just a point behind Chennaiyin FC who are seventh on the table. Jamshedpur FC have a game in hand and will leapfrog East Bengal into eighth place with a win