Goal-shy Chennaiyin welcome Hyderabad as need for points intensifies

Match 23 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 will see two-time champions, Chennaiyin FC lock horns with Hyderabad FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Monday. The meeting will be the first-ever between the two sides and already has the potential of having serious impact on their respective campaigns.

Both teams lost their previous outings in the league and currently find themselves as the bottom two in the Hero ISL 2019-20 standings. A win, though, could instantly change that and hand them much-needed momentum heading into a busy cluster of fixtures.

Chennaiyin FC

John Gregory’s men have had a disappointing campaign so far, winning none of their four matches and collecting just a single point. Chennaiyin have failed to score in more than 500 minutes of Hero ISL football, and that remains their biggest problem heading into Monday’s encounter.

Despite signing some experienced defensive names in the summer, Chennaiyin have hardly improved in the department, already conceding seven goals in four matches. The international break, therefore, came at just about the right time for Gregory and Co., allowing them a prolonged period of reflection and hard work to address issues both up front and at the back. The likes of Lallianzuala Chhangte and Anirudh Thapa hardly featured for the Blue Tigers during the international break and will be fresh to lead the Marina Machans’ revival, starting with the the tie against Hyderabad.

Hyderabad FC

It hasn’t been the best of starts to life in the Hero ISL for Phil Brown’s Hyderabad FC, as they find themselves in ninth position – just one spot above Chennaiyin - heading into their fifth match of the campaign. The club lost its opening two fixtures, conceding a total of eight goals in them. However, in their subsequent assignment – their first-ever game at home – Brown’s charges roared back with a win against Kerala Blasters FC. That said, it was back to square one for the newcomers after narrowly losing out to the Highlanders in their final tie before the international break.

There’s good news from the Hyderabad camp, however, considering they will be welcoming back a host of key players, whose involvement were zero to minimal in their opening four matches. Defender Rafael Lopez Gomez, attacking midfielder Giles Barnes and Brazilian striker Bobo are all expected to be involved against Chennaiyin and may significantly alter the make of the Hyderabad team going into the next set of fixtures. The trio will surely strengthen Hyderabad as a unit and reduce the burden on the likes of Marko Stankovic and Marcelo Pereira. One player who will be missing from the match will be Adil Khan, who picked up a hamstring strain in the international break.

Probable Line-ups:

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

Hyderabad FC: Kamaljit Singh (GK), Matthew Kilgallon, Rafael Lopez Gomez, Gurtej Singh, Mohammed Yasir, Nikhil Poojary, Marko Stankovic, Abhishek Halder, Giles Barnes, Marcelo Pereira, Robin Singh

Did yoy know?

  • Chennaiyin are the only team who are yet to score this season.
  • Hyderabad have conceded the most goals this season.
  • Chennaiyin have won just one match at home since last season.

Fan Speak:

Can Chennaiyin FC finally end their goal drought in the tie against Hyderabad?

  • Yes
  • No

Leave your choice in the comments below.

Live broadcast schedule:

Hero ISL 2019-20 Match 23: Chennaiyin FC vs Hyderabad FC

Time: 7:30 PM onwards, November 25th

Channels: Star Sports Network

Streaming: Hotstar and Jio TV

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