Talking Point: Will it be another high-scoring contest between Chennaiyin and Goa?

Both FC Goa and Chennaiyin FC will be eager to claim maximum points when the two sides square off at the Fatorda Stadium on Saturday in Match 33 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21. The Gaurs will want to return to winning ways after a defeat against ATK Mohun Bagan in their last outing, while the Marina Machans are winless since their first match of the season and will be gunning for three points. Here we have a closer look at some key factors that could decide who comes out on top when the two sides square off.

Chennaiyin must start converting their chances

The two-time champions have found the back of the net just thrice this season and have a low goal conversion rate of 4.54%. They have had 20 shots on target, scoring three goals – one of which was a penalty. They have created 53 chances so far with the likes of Jakub Sylvestr (13), Rafael Crivellaro (9) and Lallianzuala Chaangte (9) leading the way in that department. However, they need someone to start scoring and fulfill the role vacated by Nerijus Valskis, who is lethal in front of goal and was Chennaiyin’s top-scorer last season.

Lenny Rodrigues and Jorge Ortiz Mendoza are pivotal for Goa

Even though Igor Angulo has had all the headlines this season, the importance of Jorge Ortiz Mendoza and Lenny Rodrigues must not be overlooked. Mendoza is capable of being just as big a threat as Angulo and has already netted once in Hero ISL 2020-21. As many as 12 of his 24 attempts have been on target and among those who have taken 15 or more shots, only Valskis has a better shot accuracy than Mendoza. He’s also hit the woodwork once, created four chances and is the league’s second-best dribbler with 12 successful dribbles. Lenny contribution in the defensive third is also of great significance to Goa. He has the highest pass accuracy for players who have attempted more than 200 passes this season (86.31%) and has made the joint-highest number of blocks (9) for Goa.

Chennaiyin’s defence must be at their best

The Marina Machans’ last three games have seen them concede three goals including a penalty and face 32 shots, 11 of which were on target. Considering the two sides have a history of goal-filled encounters (66 goals in 17 matches), Chennaiyin’s defence must be on their toes against a Goa side that has taken the most shots in the league so far (84) and also have the most shots on target (30). The southerners have conceded three or more goals on seven occasions against FC Goa and they must remain switched on throughout the game to avoid a repeat of anything similar on Saturday.

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