Bengaluru, Chennaiyin face off in search of first win
Reigning Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) champions, Bengaluru FC and two-time winners Chennaiyin FC go head-to-head at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Sunday in search of their first win in the ongoing season. The match will be the final Hero ISL 2019-20 fixture before heading into the international break and both sides will be aiming to seize the initiative and gain some winning momentum for the next phase of the season.
Neither side has enjoyed a good start to their respective campaigns, with the Blues having just three points from as many games, while Chennaiyin have just one point to show for their efforts so far. As far as how the two units stack up against each other in the league’s history goes, it’s the two-time champions, Chennaiyin who hold the upper hand with three wins from five meetings.
While they haven’t lost any of their three games, the Blues will be disappointed with how they’ve gone about defending their title so far. There were innumerable opportunities to win all three points in each of those matches against NorthEast United, FC Goa and Jamshedpur, but a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal has cost them.
Injuries, though, have played an equal part in Bengaluru’s slow start to the season as Albert Serran became the latest in an exhaustive list of players currently on the Blues’ treatment table. The continued absence of Erik Paartalu has, meanwhile, affected the influence and attacking capacity of Dimas Delgado, with the Spaniard now operating in a much deeper role. Paartalu may be back in contention for the Chennaiyin tie but is unlikely to start considering his long injury layoff.
Defensively, however, Carles Cuadrat’s men have done reasonably well, barring the one late lapse against Goa, and will be aiming to use it as a platform to kickstart their season.
After a disappointing showing against the Gaurs in their opening match, John Gregory and co. showed signs of improvement in the following two fixtures against Mumbai City and ATK. The defence was especially sound, with Eli Sabia and Lucian Goian beginning to show promise as an effective centre-back pairing.
However, the same cannot be said about the club’s forward line, which is yet to find the back of the net this season. In fact, Gregory’s men haven’t managed to score in more than 450 minutes of Hero ISL football. The numbers will be worrying for the Englishman with most of his attack still lacking sharpness in the final third, probably even more so than Bengaluru.
Bengaluru FC: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK), Juanan, Rahul Bheke, Nishu Kumar, Ashique Kuruniyan, Harmanjot Singh Khabra, Raphael Augusto, Dimas Delgado, Udanta Singh, Manuel Onwu, Sunil Chhetri
Chennaiyin FC: Vishal Kaith (GK), Lucian Goian, Eli Sabia, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Tondonba Singh, Dhanpal Ganesh, Anirudh Thapa, Dragos Firtulescu, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Rafael Crivellaro, Nerijus Valskis
Which Indian star will stamp his authority and win the match for his team?
- Udanta Singh
- Anirudh Thapa
Leave your choice in the comments below:
Live broadcast schedule:
Hero ISL 2019-20 Match 20: Bengaluru FC vs Chennaiyin FC
Time: 7:30 PM onwards, November 10th
Channels: Star Sports Network
Streaming: Hotstar and Jio TV