Match 79 Preview: Semi-final chasing Chennaiyin FC seek three points against wounded SC East Bengal

SC East Bengal will be up against Chennaiyin FC in their Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 match at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco, Goa on Wednesday.

Chennaiyin FC will be aiming to get back on track in the semi-final race after a crushing 0-3 defeat to Bengaluru FC in the previous game. A win would put them at the third spot in the league table. Meanwhile, SC East Bengal are also licking their wounds after a heart-breaking 1-3 loss against ATK Mohun Bagan in the Kolkata derby last weekend.

Form Guide

SC East Bengal - DLWLL

The Red and Gold brigade have lost three, won once and drawn another in their last five matches of the season. Newly appointed head coach Mario Rivera inspired SC East Bengal to their first win in the Hero ISL 2021-22 season, but crashed to consecutive losses against Hyderabad FC and ATK Mohun Bagan.

Chennaiyin FC - WLDWL

The former champions have lost two, won two and drawn once in their last five matches this season. After an inspiring start to the campaign, Bozidar Bandovic’s men have lost track midway, but are still in contention for a semi-finals spot. The SC East Bengal match will be the perfect opportunity for them to register a win and get back to winning ways.

Team News

A call on the availability of Chennaiyin FC’s Germanpreet Singh will be taken later.

Key Players

SC East Bengal

Antonio Perosevic: Out of all the disappointment the team has gone through the ongoing season, Anotnio Perosevic is a silver lining, having played some good football towards the start of the season. However, his form dipped following the suspension he was handed midway through the season. But, with the experience he brings, his team surely expects a lot out of him when he takes the field against Chennaiyin FC in the next game.

Hira Mondal: Potentially an ‘Emerging Player of the Season’ contender, the side-back gone from strength to strength as the season progressed. Despite the loss to ATK Mohun Bagan in the previous game, the footballer was proactive in his defensive roles. Overall, in 12 matches, the defender has made 38 tackles, 26 interceptions, 48 clearances and 30 blocks in the season. The team needs his service against a disciplined Chennaiyin FC side.

Chennaiyin FC

Vladimir Koman: The midfield general for Chennaiyin FC has been rock solid in the Hero ISL 2021-22. With 627 passes in 12 matches at a rate of over 50 per game, the Hungarian footballer has been pulling the strings for his club ever since his arrival, going along with three goals and an assist. Propelling his game to the next level would be of utmost priority right now, as Chennaiyin FC need him to deliver the goods and make their passage to a top-four finish.

Reagan Singh: One of the most experienced Indian players in the league, Reagan Singh has come of age after making his Hero ISL debut for NorthEast United FC. The move to Chennaiyin FC has been a fruitful one for the defender, as he’s already played 12 out of the 13 matches for his side this season. The Manipuri footballer has been strong in his department, having made 46 tackles, 25 interceptions, 33 clearances and 20 blocks along the way.

Key Stats

SC East Bengal’s woes at the Tilak Maidan, Vasco: Out of the 19 matches played at the Tilak Maidan Stadium, in Vasco, the SC East Bengal have only won once. It was on January 3, 2021, that the red and gold brigade won the only match at the venue, by virtue of a 3-1 win over Odisha FC.

Milestone alert: Indian defender Reagan Singh is all set to make his 100th appearance in the Hero ISL. The side-back will become the 10th overall and the ninth Indian footballer to achieve the feat.

Chennaiyin FC need to find goals: Bandovic’s men have been struggling in the final third, having scored the least number of goals (12) in the Hero Indian Super League. They have struck six goals from open play, which is the fewest after SC East Bengal (4). Meanwhile, Kerala Blasters FC have only scored more goals (5) from set-pieces than Chennaiyin FC.

Match timings and telecast details

Match: SC East Bengal vs Chennaiyin FC

Date: February 2, 2021

Venue: Tilak Maidan Stadium, Vasco

Kick-off time: 7.30 pm

Telecast: Star Sports Network Star Sports 1 regional channels - Tamil, Bengali, Kannada, Telugu

Online Streaming: Disney+Hotstar and JioTV.

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