Talking Point: Can Chennaiyin kick-start their campaign in a real way against winless SC East Bengal?

SC East Bengal and Chennaiyin FC lock horns right after the two-day Christmas break on Saturday in Match 39 of the 2020-21 Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL). Based on their previous results this season, Chennaiyin will fancy themselves against a team that has not yet won a game. Csaba Laszlo’s men have all the more reason to feel buoyant after seeing off a strong FC Goa side 2-1 in their last game. Chennaiyin dominated that game and could have scored 2-3 more goals on another day. New-entrants SC East Bengal, meanwhile, drew their last game against Kerala Blasters FC and now face one of the strongest teams in Hero ISL history. Ahead of the game at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco, let’s discuss some of the factors that could impact the outcome in a big way.  

Rafael Crivellaro is back!

One of the reasons behind Chennaiyin being slow off the blocks this season has been the form of Rafael Crivellaro. Be that as it may, one of the most influential players for the Marina Machans last season, Crivellaro is slowly getting his mojo back. In the game against Goa, he played a pivotal role in the win. First, he scored only the third direct goal from a corner in the history of the Hero ISL and then provided a brilliant assist for Rahim Ali to tap in. Crivellaro returning to form is definitely good news for Chennaiyin and bad news for their future opponents -- SC East Bengal on this occasion.

Jacques Maghoma can spoil Chennaiyin’s party

Maghoma scored SC East Bengal’s opening goals this season and appears Robbie Fowler’s only real hope at present against a strong Chennaiyin FC side. After scoring two goals against Hyderabad FC, Maghoma had another good game against Kerala Blasters FC. In light of SC East Bengal’s woes, particularly up front, the performance of Maghoma could be crucial. If anyone can stop the Marina Marinas on Saturday, it’s the Congolese midfielder and make no mistake he will require a lot of support particularly from Anthony Pilkington.

Chennaiyin attack has quality

SC East Bengal have conceded 11 goals so far and their defence looks in bad shape. Meanwhile, Chennaiyin FC have scored just five goals in their six matches but there is no doubt they have a lot of quality in their forward-line. Jacub Sylvestr, Esmael Goncalves and Rahim Ali will particularly be looking to make the most of a feeble defence. The SC East Bengal defence, led by Scott Neville, indeed have a tough task on their hands on Saturday night.

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