Match 33 Preview: Chennaiyin need win against Goa to boost their campaign

Chennaiyin FC will target going level on points with FC Goa in the 2020-21 Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) standings with a win over the Gaurs at the Fatorda Stadium on Saturday. In what is the highest-scoring fixture in league history with 66 goals, both teams have squared off 17 times in the past with Goa winning nine times and Chennaiyin emerging triumphant on seven occasions.

After a loss in their last outing against ATK Mohun Bagan, Goa will be eager to make amends and return to winning ways. The Gaurs weren’t at their fluent best in their last outing and will be eager to change things when they take on the Marina Machans. While their defence seemed fine for the large part of the game against the Mariners, the same can’t be said about their attack.

The exclusion of Brandon Fernandes and Jorge Ortiz Mendoza from the starting XI may have had a hand in that and the duo need to be restored from the start if Goa want a better result against Chennaiyin. Brandon, in particular, will be craving for more game time. The Indian playmaker is one of his side’s most creative players and has already registered two assists this season despite being on the pitch for just 263 minutes.

Mendoza has also always made an impact whenever on the pitch and his effect on the team was visible after he came off the bench against ATK Mohun Bagan with Goa’s attack showing instant improvement with him going forward. Their biggest goal-threat Igor Angulo also thrives in Mendoza’s presence and the two Spaniards will have big roles to play against Chennaiyin. Angulo has scored six out of Goa’s seven goals this season, while Mendoza netted the other.

“Our target is to win. But sometimes you draw and lose, maybe because of a penalty. We want to do well with young players. We are not happy conceding late penalties. We also have to think about the spaces when we lose the ball and go on to concede the penalty. It is necessary to think what happened before the penalty,” Goa head coach Ferrando said ahead of the game having particularly the ATK Mohun Bagan game in mind.  

Chennaiyin, meanwhile, are winless since their first game of the season and need to start picking up wins soon if they want to qualify for the semi-finals. They head into the clash against Goa on the back of a goalless draw with NorthEast United FC and need their big players to stand up and be counted. Rafael Crivellaro is one such individual who needs to start delivering soon having failed to hit the heights of last season so far.

Lallianzuala Chhangte is another player that needs to improve if he wants to eclipse his tally of seven goals last season. The Indian winger has looked threatening and gets into dangerous areas but fails to deliver the final ball. He must improve his final ball and hope that the others around him like Thoi Singh and Fatkhulo Fatkhulloev do better as well.

The return of Anirudh Thapa, who was a substitute in the last game, following injury will also be a boost to the two-time champions. Thapa is integral to Chennaiyin’s midfield and his presence at the center of the park will make a big difference against Goa. Up front, Jakub Sylvestr will be hoping to do better having failed to fill Nerijus Valskis’ boots for Chennaiyin so far. The Slovakian striker has netted once in five appearances for Chennaiyin and will be keen on finding the back of the net more frequently for the Marina Machans.

“We want to use our strengths. We need to score goals. We must be more focused. We should not be aggressive but focused when we get chances to score. We also have to stay compact, organised and stop Goa and we can lead the team to a win,” Chennaiyin head coach Csaba Laszlo said ahead of the game.  

Squads:

FC Goa

Goalkeepers: Mohammad Nawaz, Naveen Kumar, Shubham Dhas, Antonio D’Silva

Defenders: Sarineo Fernandes, Aiban Dohling, Ivan Gonzalez, James Donachie, Leander D’Cunha, Mohamed Ali, Sanson Pereira, Saviour Gama, Seriton Fernandes

Midfielders: Alberto Noguera, Alexander Jesuraj, Brandon Fernandes, Edu Bedia, Flan Gomes, Jorge Mendoza, Lenny Rodrigues, Nestor Dias, Phrangki Buam, Princeton Rebello, Redeem Tlang, Seiminlen Doungel

Forwards: Aaren D’Silva, Devendra Murgaonkar, Igor Angulo, Ishan Pandita, Makan Chothe

Chennaiyin FC

Goalkeepers: Revanth BY, Vishal Kaith, Karanjit Singh, Samik Mitra

Defenders: Lalchhuanmawia Fanai, Enes Sipovic, Reagan Singh, Eli Sabia, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Remi, Balaji Ganesan, Aqib Nawab, Deepak Tangri

Midfielders: Fatkhulo Fatkhuloev, Thoi Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Memo Moura, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Rafael Crivellaro, Abhijit Sarkar, Pandiyan Sinivasan, Germanpreet Singh, Dhanpal Ganesh, Edwin Vanspaul

Forwards: Jakub Sylvestr, Aman Chetri, Rahim Ali, Esmael Goncalves

Live Broadcast Schedule:

Hero ISL 2020-21 Match 33: FC Goa vs Chennaiyin FC

Date: December 19 (Saturday)

Time: 7:30 PM onwards

Channels: Star Sports Network

Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV

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