Match 63 Preview: Back to winning ways, Chennaiyin FC take on improved SC East Bengal

Chennaiyin FC hope to register a second win on the trot when they take on SC East Bengal in Match 63 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Monday. In the fixture between these two sides earlier this season, two goals from Matti Steinmann had helped SC East Bengal to a 2-2 draw after Robbie Fowler’s men fell behind twice.

The Marina Machans ended their winless run of four matches with a 2-1 victory over Odisha FC in their previous encounter. Despite Esmael Goncalves scoring a brace in the win, there are still issues with Chennaiyin up front. Four of their 10 goals this season have come in the first 15 minutes and the team’s attack appears to fade after this period. They have created many scoring opportunities so far but have very few goals to show for their effort. Facing one of the best goalkeepers this season, Debjit Majumder, who has made 35 saves so far, Chennaiyin’s attackers will need to improve on their previous performances in a big way to get an outright result and a place in the top-four.

Sharing his thoughts ahead of the encounter, head coach Csaba Laszlo said, “SC East Bengal got some good new players in. They try hard in the offence but I also have some good defensive players …Generally, we are strong in the midfield and we are also a team who stay compact. If we stay compact, I think we have enough quality to win the game against SC East Bengal.”.

Meanwhile, SC East Bengal’s Scott Neville scored late against Kerala Blasters FC in a 1-1 draw in their last match. Fowler’s side are unbeaten in their last six matches and the English head coach will hope for this trend to continue against the Marina Machans.

The Kolkata team have undoubtedly improved after the January addition of Bright Enobakhare. The Nigerian forward has scored two goals in four games so far, and also assisted Neville’s goal in their last match.

Fowler, however, would also want the Indian players in the team to score goals. None of SC East Bengal’s Indian players has scored so far this season. This is an important matter as they can’t always depend on their foreign imports to do the job. At present, SC East Bengal are in the bottom half of the points table and going forward will need a succession of wins to stay in contention for a semi-final spot.

"We are on an unbeaten run so there are plenty of positives. We need to get wins. There are five points that [separate] us and the team in the fourth place. We will continue to try and get the points. We know we need results. Until it's impossible, we will go into every game with the belief that we can still do it," Fowler said ahead of the game.

Squads:

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, Abhijit Sarkar, Pandiyan Sinivasan, Germanpreet Singh, Dhanpal Ganesh, Edwin Vanspaul, Manuel Lanzarote

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

SC East Bengal

Goalkeepers: Debjit Majumder, Sankar Roy, Mirshad Michu, Suvam Sen

Defenders: Samad Mallick, Daniel Fox, Scott Neville, Narayan Das, Mohamed Irshad, Gurtej Singh, N Rohen Singh, Lalramchullova, Rana Gharami, Anil Chawan, Raju Gaikwad, Ankit Mukherjee

Midfielders: Sehnaj Singh, Matti Steinmann, Jacques Maghoma, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Wahengbam Luwang, Bikash Jairu, Yumnam Singh, Surchandra Singh, Loken Meitei, Mohammed Rafique, Aaron Joshua Holloway, Anthony Pilkington, Milan Singh, Haobam Singh, Ajay Chhetri

Forwards: Balwant Singh, Jeje Lalpekhlua, CK Vineeth, Girik Khosla, Harmanpreet Singh, Bright Enobakhare

Live Broadcast Schedule:

Hero ISL 2020-21 Match 63: Chennaiyin FC vs SC East Bengal

Date: January 18 (Monday)

Time: 7:30 PM onwards

Channels: Star Sports Network

Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV

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