Chennaiyin FC will have their sights set on the fourth spot as they face an underperforming Jamshedpur FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Saturday. The visitors will be looking for their first win in four games to draw level on points with the Marina Machans.
In their last game, Chennaiyin FC lost 6-2 against Mumbai City FC despite being 2-0 ahead. The loss extended the Marina Machans’ winless streak at home to three games, making it their second-longest winless run at home in the Hero ISL. The longest came in the 2018-19 season when they went seven games without a win.
Vafa Hakhamaneshi is set to return in defence for them and the decision of who will be replaced is an important one. Fallou Diagne has been solid in defence while Julius Duker has been vital in midfield. Further up the pitch, Abdenasser El Khayati scored in his first start for the club against Mumbai and Petar Sliskovic also got off the mark. (Club Statistics)
“We have worked for the match ob Saturday and need to create a good atmosphere in the team while implementing the right things at the right moment,” said Brdaric.
“Jamshedpur are league winners, but the team has changed since then and is struggling. It will be interesting to see how we can capitalise on that,” he added.
Jamshedpur FC have concerns of their own after making their worst start of the season in Hero ISL history. The Red Miners have won just one out of five games so far. In the last two games, they have failed to score. Firing another blank against Chennaiyin FC will see them equal their Hero ISL 2017-18 record of most successive matches without a goal. (Club Statistics)
Head coach Aidy Boothroyd will expect strikers Daniel Chukwu and Harry Sawyer to use their physicality against a defence that conceded six goals last week. Wellington Priori was benched in the last game against Hyderabad FC and could reclaim his place in midfield.
Boothroyd may not be happy with the results but is pleased with his team. He said, “We just want to get back to playing again. I think when things are going well for you, they go well. I’m pleased with quite a few aspects of the team. We had a couple of results that could have gone either way, but that’s football. I think Chennaiyin are a good team with a good coach, and I expect tomorrow night to be very difficult,” he added.
The two sides have met on ten occasions in the Hero ISL. Chennaiyin FC have won four times, while the Red Miners have been victorious on three occasions. Three games have ended in a draw. The last time these two sides met at the Marina Arena, Chennaiyin sailed past Jamshedpur with a 4-1 victory. (League Standings)