Match 86 Preview: Chennaiyin FC aim to revive semi-final hopes against struggling FC Goa

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

The Chennai-based side dropped points in their previous game against SC East Bengal, as they failed to keep a two-goal lead, eventually denting their title hopes. On the other hand, FC Goa’s late strike allowed them to snatch a point in the last game, after Odisha FC went ahead in the 61st minute.

Head To Head

Chennaiyin FC have played FC Goa a total of 20 times before, with the former ending up on the winning side a total of eight times. FC Goa have won 12 times, while two matches have ended in a draw.

Form Guide

Chennaiyin FC - DWLDL

The former champions have won once, lost twice and shared the spoils in the remaining one of their last five matches this season. The only win came against NorthEast United FC, which ended 2-1 in their favour.

FC Goa - DLDLD

The Gaurs are winless in their last five matches, losing twice and playing out a draw in the remaining three occasions. Interestingly, all the drawn matches in the above set ended with a scoreline of 1-1.

Team News

Chennaiyin FC’s Mohammad Sajid Dhot and Vladimir Koman will be unavailable for the next match. On the other hand, there are no injury concerns for FC Goa.

Key Players

Chennaiyin FC

Nerijus Valskis: The Lithuanian is not unknown to the Indian circuit, having stormed in the Hero ISL with a golden boot winning campaign with Chennaiyin in the 2019-20 season. However, he is yet to find the back of the net in his second stint with the club, having already played six matches. The only two goals he scored this season was against FC Goa (when he played for Jamshedpur FC). The upcoming match could well break the jinx for the prolific scorer.

Anirudh Thapa: If Chennaiyin FC hope to make a late resurgence to breakthrough to the top-our once again, Anirudh Thapa has to play a major role in it. The skipper is the glue that links the defence with the attackers, having made 523 passes this season, at a rate of 37.36 passes per match, maintaining an accuracy of 71.89%. On the other hand, he has made 26 interceptions this season, the second most by a Chennaiyin FC player. His all-round skills would prove vital in the FC Goa game.

FC Goa

Jorge Ortiz: The Gaurs will depend largely on Jorge Ortiz to score the goals for them in the upcoming tie. Despite not being in the form he is usually known for, the forward has scored four times this season and is currently the highest goalscorer for his side. He has taken 45 shots - the most by any FC Goa player, out of which 18 were on target. It was Ortiz’s winner which helped the Gaurs secure full points in their previous match against Chennaiyin FC, earlier this season.

Princeton Rebello: It was always going to be a mammoth task filling in Brandon Fernandes’ shoes in the setup, but Princeton Rebello has done quite a remarkable job at the central midfield position alongside Edu Bedia. In the 13 matches played so far, the footballer has stitched up 463 passes, at a rate of 35.62 passes per match, maintaining an accuracy of 83.36%. Apart from which, Rebello has been pretty consistent in his defensive duties as well, having made 33 tackles, 20 interceptions, eight blocks and as many clearances. No doubt he is a man to watch out for in the Chennaiyin FC game.

Key Stats

Chennaiyin FC’s milestone alert: A win for Chennaiyin FC will bring up their 50th in the Hero ISL and will be the third team to achieve the feat, after FC Goa (61 wins) and Mumbai City FC (56 wins). Meanwhile, they need four goals to become the second team to score 200 Hero ISL goals, after FC Goa (256 goals).

Inability to convert chances: Both the teams have failed to make use of opportunities, as it is evident from the fact that they have two of the worst goal conversion rates this season. FC Goa’s goal conversion rate this season is 6.95, while Chennaiyin FC’s is 8.12.

Over dependence on foreign players: FC Goa have only three Indian goal contributors this season, which is the lowest for any team in the Hero ISL 2021-22. Chennaiyin FC, on the other hand, have six Indian goal contributors so far, which is the joint-third fewest for any team. However, one of their players who scored and provided once each - Lallianzuala Chhangte, is now playing for Mumbai City FC.

Match timings and telecast details

Match: Chennaiyin FC vs FC Goa

Date: February 9, 2021

Venue: Tilak Maidan Stadium, Vasco

Kick-off time: 7.30 pm IST

Telecast: Star Sports Network

Online Streaming: Disney+Hotstar and JioTV.

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