Match 83 Preview: Bengaluru aim to close gap on top four with win against Chennaiyin

After a win in their last Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 outing, Bengaluru FC will be looking to build on their momentum when they face Chennaiyin FC at the Fatorda Stadium on Friday. The Blues ended an eight-match winless run in their last outing and will back themselves to get the better of Chennaiyin having already beaten them once this season.

The head-to-head between the teams though is even and points towards a tight contest between the sides on Friday. The two sides have met eight times in the Hero ISL with Bengaluru winning four times, Chennaiyin winning thrice besides also being involved in one draw.

Bengaluru will head into their second match of the season against Chennaiyin on the back of a three-match unbeaten run. They have shown great resilience and character after enduring a poor start to the campaign and seem to have turned a corner under their interim head coach Naushad Moosa. Currently on 18 points, the Blues will be hoping to put together a consistent run of results and secure a semi-final spot.

Their clash against Chennaiyin will witness them aiming to do the double over the Marina Machans. Bengaluru have netted 19 times so far and 10 of those goals have come via set-pieces. They will back themselves to score from set-pieces against Chennaiyin as well and will need to keep things tighter at the back having conceded 19 goals so far.

“There is a lot of positivity now. Players, of course they believe in each other. Now it’s more because the way we have been playing in the last two-three games. They have been more compact. The match against Hyderabad [a 2-2 draw]; you didn’t see the same mistakes happening in the last game [vs SC East Bengal]. Everyone was more cautious. As I said post-match last time that in the dressing room everybody was happy, there was no pressure for the game. That’s what I see now in the players. Last five games, just go out there and enjoy. Let’s not worry about the results or the points table, just go out there and give your best,” Moosa said ahead of the game.

Chennaiyin, meanwhile, haven’t managed to secure a win from their last four outings and have struggled to score this season. They have scored 11 times – the least by any team in Hero ISL 2020-21 – and have to improve their end product in the opposition box if they want to finish the league stage in the top four.

The Marina Machans have failed to score in eight matches this season and haven’t found the back of the net from open play in their last four games. Esmael Goncalves is their leading scorer with four goals and the lack of an out-and-out goal-scorer like they had in Nerijus Valskis last season has severely hampered their campaign.

That said, Csaba Laszlo’s men won’t be afraid about taking on Bengaluru and will want to secure a positive result from the clash. However, they will need to be on top of their game from start to finish against Bengaluru and especially in the second half when they have tended to struggle the most at both ends of the pitch.  

"I’m here to try and win games. I don't think about my future, I think about the future of the club. We have a very difficult game against Bengaluru and my attention is to try and win the game,” said Laszlo ahead of the game.

Squads:

Bengaluru FC

Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Lalthuammawia Ralte, Lara Sharma, Sharon

Defenders: Juanan, Rahul Bheke, Francisco Gonzalez, Ajith Kumar, Joe Zoherliana, Biswa Darjee, Namgyal Bhutia, Parag Srivas, Pratik Chaudhari, Wungngayam Muirang

Midfielders: Dimas Delgado, Erik Paartalu, Suresh Wangjam, Thoi Singh, Emanuel Lalchhanchhuaha, Amay Morajkar, Harmanjot Khabra, Cleiton Silva, Xisco Hernandez

Forwards: Sunil Chhetri, Kristian Opseth, Ashique Kuruniyan, Udanta Singh, Edmund Lalrindika, Leon Augustin, Semboi Haokip, Naorem Singh

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

Live Broadcast Schedule:

Hero ISL 2020-21 Match 83: Bengaluru FC vs Chennaiyin FC

Date: February 5 (Friday)

Time: 7:30 PM onwards

Channels: Star Sports Network

Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV

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