Chennaiyin FC will be eager to cut the gap between them and sixth place when they host ATK Mohun Bagan in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai. Three points will see the Marina Machans leapfrog rivals Bengaluru FC and move into seventh place, just a point behind the final playoff spot that FC Goa currently occupy. The Mariners, on the other hand, will be looking to pull six points clear of FC Goa and propel themselves into third place.

Last week, Chennaiyin FC were on the verge of handing Hyderabad FC their third defeat of the season before a Bartholomew Ogbeche penalty in the 87th minute saw them dropping two crucial points.

After being on the road for three consecutive Hero ISL games, Chennaiyin FC will return to the Marina Arena for their next clash. The Marina Machans are winless in their last four games after drawing three and losing one. Additionally, Thomas Brdaric’s side have been lacking at home this season, winning just one out of six games in their own backyard.

Petar Sliskovic has been in fiery form lately for Chennaiyin FC. The striker has scored in three successive games. He is the club’s leading goal scorer this season with eight goals in 13 games.

“Football is unpredictable. My aim is always to score goals. I tell my players that if you score three goals on average, then you can afford to make a few mistakes. But it is a tough job to break the will of the opponent,” said Brdaric.

ATK Mohun Bagan will be aiming to finish at least in third place during the league phase after they suffered their fourth defeat of the season last week against Mumbai City FC. The Mariners have only won two of their last five games.

In addition to that, Juan Ferrando’s men have fired blanks in their last two away games. Having scored just two goals in the last four games, ATK Mohun Bagan will face a side that has already beaten them in their opening game of the season. With a strong squad and a couple of promising signings, the Mariners will be eager to notch their first win of 2023.

Dimitri Petratos and Hugo Boumous have been the club’s top goal contributors this season. Both players were on target against FC Goa in Matchweek 13. New signing Puitea is expected to retain his midfield spot alongside Carl McHugh, while the other new signing Federico Gallego is likely to make another substitute appearance at some point in the game.

“For this game, the team is ready to stick to the same process and mentality. There will be a few minor changes because Chennaiyin are different compared to Mumbai,” said Ferrando. “It is an important and difficult match for us because we are playing away. We cannot afford to get distracted from the details we have put out because that is how we have lost games,” he added.

The two teams have clashed five times in the Hero ISL. The Mariners have won twice, while the Marina Machans clinched their first ever victory over ATK Mohun Bagan this season.