The Indian Super League (ISL) teams, Chennaiyin FC and Hyderabad FC, are all set to face each other in their Durand Cup 2023 group stage clash at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Thursday.

In another fixture on Thursday, Punjab FC will go up against Bangladesh Army FT in their second Group A match at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan Stadium in Kolkata.

The Group E match in Guwahati is scheduled to kick off at 3:00 PM, while the Group A game in Kolkata is set to start at 6:00 PM.

Both Durand Cup matches will be broadcasted live on the Sony Sports Ten 2 channel and can also be streamed live on SonyLIV.

Hyderabad FC vs Chennaiyin FC: Clash of two ISL clubs

After playing to a 1-1 draw in their group opener against Delhi FC, Hyderabad FC will be aiming to secure a victory in their next match.

Similarly, Chennaiyin FC, under the guidance of head coach Owen Coyle, will also seek to kick off their new campaign with a win. The two teams crossed paths in the previous edition of the Durand Cup group stage, where Hyderabad emerged as 3-1 victors. However, considering the numerous changes in both squads, this upcoming game could unfold as an entirely distinct encounter.

Owen Coyle, who is embarking on his second tenure with Chennaiyin FC, discusses the significance of the prestigious Durand Cup in anticipation of the upcoming clash.

He said, “The Durand Cup is a famous and renowned tournament which holds great prestige. Obviously, it comes quickly in the pre-season, but it provides an opportunity to get to know the players, find our rhythm, and give our very best. It is a great competition that allows us to play competitively and give our all, as we always do. We're truly excited about the upcoming competition.”

Hyderabad FC, on the other hand, conceded an early goal in their opening clash, but Ramhlunchhunga's belter secured a point for them. They now hope to deliver a stronger performance against their fellow ISL side, aiming to secure some crucial points.

CFC head coach Coyle believes that the group will test his team and also help the players get the minutes they need, giving him an idea to look and see what the team has done and where they need to improve.

“I don't play to draw games, I play to win games. That is how my teams play and that is how we will play this season, starting in this cup competition. Hyderabad will be tough opponents as they have already played the game that they drew. So we know that if we can go and certainly look to win that game, it gives us a very good foothold in the group for trying to progress to reach the quarter-finals,” stated Coyle.

Punjab FC vs Bangladesh Army FT: The Shers will look to open their account

Newly-promoted ISL side Punjab found it difficult in their opening game of Group A against Mohun Bagan Super Giant as they went down 2-0 to the Mariners on Monday.

The Shers, led by their Greek head coach Staikos Vergetis, now aim to secure their first points as they face the Bangladesh Armed Forces side on Thursday. Nevertheless, their task won't be easy, considering the Bangladesh Army side's confidence is soaring after a spirited 2-2 draw against the Kolkata giants, East Bengal FC, last Sunday.

After a shaky start in the first half of the match, Punjab FC played much better in the second half. The addition of Juan Mera in the second half proved pivotal, as the Spaniard created several scoring opportunities. Slovenian forward Luka Majcen also came close to scoring on a couple of occasions, only to be denied by the secure hands of Vishal Kaith.

However, the Shers will now forget the consequences of the previous match and look to secure all three points in the next game. Punjab FC will be looking to the foreign duo of Mera and Majcen for goals on Thursday.