Chennaiyin FC and ATK Mohun Bagan will kickstart their Durand Cup 2022 campaigns on Saturday as they take on Army Red and Rajasthan United respectively.

Both teams have fielded their strongest possible teams in the tournament and will be hoping to go all the way and bag their first silverware of the season.

Chennaiyin FC vs Army Red (3 PM IST)

Chennaiyin FC will get the Thomas Brdaric era underway as they face Army Red at the Khuman Lampak stadium in Imphal on Saturday afternoon.

The German head coach is looking to oversee a change of playing style at the club with him looking to add a more German flavour to their gameplay.

Brdaric has spoken about making Chennaiyin FC a high-pressing team that plays with a high intensity much like how top German managers like Jurgen Klopp make their teams play.

Chennaiyin FC’s squad has seen an overhaul in the summer with signings like Kwame Karikari, Fallou Diagne, Julius Duker, Vafa Hakhamaneshi and Petar Sliskovic adding to a freshly assembled Indian core that consists of players like Anirudh Thapa, Rahim Ali, Vincy Barretto, Edwin Vanspaul and Narayan Das.

The Marina Machans squad this season has a perfect balance in terms of youth and experience and the expectation after a busy summer would be to challenge for top honours this season.

However, it may take some time for things to align under the new regime and that’s where the Durand Cup campaign could be handy for Chennaiyin FC who will get plenty of opportunities to gel the players ahead of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) season.

In the Durand Cup, Chennaiyin FC are placed in group C alongside Hero ISL champions Hyderabad FC, Army Red and the two Imphal teams NEROCA and TRAU.

Brdaric will be keen to get off to a winning start after a majority of the Hero ISL clubs so far have recorded victories in the tournament.

Army Red will be no pushovers as they have been regulars in this tournament and will give it their all against their Hero ISL opponents.

Chennaiyin FC’s match against Army Red will be held at 3 PM IST in Imphal on Saturday and will be shown live on Sports18, Sports18 HD and will be streamed Live on Voot Select and Jio TV.

ATK Mohun Bagan vs Rajashan United (6 PM IST)

ATK Mohun Bagan will face Hero I-League outfit Rajasthan United in their Durand Cup 2022 opener with Juan Ferrando set to unleash his full-strength side at the Salt Lake stadium on Saturday.

New signings like Florentin Pogba, Ashique Kuruniyan and Asish Rai will be on show for the first time in green and maroon as the fans will get a glimpse of what ATK Mohun Bagan could produce in the upcoming season.

The Mariners will take the competition seriously and head coach Ferrando has expressed his desire of winning all the trophies possible this season starting with the Durand Cup.

“This competition is important for us because it is a historic competition. We are honoured to be part of this and being the club we are, we always want to give our best be it in pre-season games or in tournaments,” head coach Ferrando said ahead of his team’s first match against Rajasthan United.

Ferrando has seven foreign players at his disposal but will only be allowed to use four at a point and feels the Durand Cup will help them identify the best team combination ahead of the Hero ISL.

Rajasthan United finished sixth in the I-League last season which was a commendable effort considering it was their first season in the competition. They qualified for the I-League by winning the qualifiers and becoming the first team from Rajasthan to make the I-League.

The team from the west-Indian state has former Hero ISL players in their ranks in Martin Chaves who played for NorthEast United FC, Surchandra Singh who featured for Mumbai City FC, William Lalnunfela who played for the Highlanders and Jamshedpur FC, Britto PM who also turned out for NorthEast United FC.

ATK Mohun Bagan’s game against Rajasthan United is scheduled for 6 PM IST on Saturday and will be shown live on Sports18, Sports18 HD and will be streamed Live on Voot Select and Jio TV.