A week after their dominant 5-1 victory over Punjab FC, Chennaiyin FC are set to welcome FC Goa to the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Sunday.
After a poor start to their campaign, the Marina Machans have found momentum at the right time, winning back-to-back games to climb to seventh in the table. Another win would take them into the playoff positions when the third international break arrives.
Owen Coyle’s men have had their fair share of issues both in attack and defense and while they have only won against the two bottom-placed clubs, they appear sharper and more competitive.
Addressing the media prior to the match, Coyle stressed the importance of maintaining their performance levels to secure a positive outcome against FC Goa.
“FC Goa are a very good side, we respect them, but we know with the quality of players we have, we have very good quality. We have the desire to be really focused and go and look to try to win another tough game in the ISL and so will FC Goa so I think it will be an exciting game tomorrow,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Manolo Marquez’s FC Goa have had a strong start to their campaign despite not being at their breathtaking best. They currently hold the fourth spot in the table with 10 points and remain one of the three undefeated teams.
During their previous match against Bengaluru FC, FC Goa was missing key players Noah Sadaoui and Brandon Fernandes, resulting in a less potent attack and a 0-0 draw, despite having the upper hand in chances.
Marquez, however, will hope that their defense improves, as they have been vulnerable during counter-attacks, a facet of the game Chennaiyin FC are strong at.
During the pre-match press conference, the Spanish coach lavished praise on his counterpart and stated that his team must be competitive both physically and technically to get a result in Chennai.
“He (Owen Coyle) demands a lot from the players. And finally, his character is the character of the team. And this is the reason that now Chennaiyin FC, I think, will be a very competitive team. And we have to be very focused. But, again, we will have our options to win the game if we play a good game,” Marquez said.
Chennaiyin FC vs FC Goa: Team News and Predicted Lineup
Chennaiyin FC injuries and suspensions: Ninthoi Meetei (injury).
FC Goa injuries and suspension: Noah Sadaoui and Brandon Fernandes (doubtful).
Chennaiyin FC predicted lineup: Debjit Majumder (GK), Ankit Mukherjee, Lazar Cirkovic, Ryan Edwards, Aakash Sangwan, Jiteshwor Singh, Ayush Adhikari, Rafael Crivellaro, Farukh Chaudhary, Rahim Ali, Connor Shields.
FC Goa predicted lineup: Arshdeep Singh (GK), Seriton Fernandes, Odei Onaindia, Sandesh Jhingan, Jay Gupta, Rowllin Borges, Carl McHugh, Udanta Singh, Victor Rodriguez, Raynier Fernandes, Carlos Martinez.
Chennaiyin FC vs FC Goa: Prediction
Both teams arrive into this team with strong momentum, elevating the anticipation for this highly awaited clash. Over the course of history, this fixture has consistently been marked by its intensity, featuring both teams as formidable and equally competitive adversaries. Therefore, expectations are high that this fixture will maintain its fierce nature.
FC Goa will aim to assert themselves as contenders against the likes of Mumbai City FC and Mohun Bagan SG, while Chennaiyin FC will look to secure their third consecutive victory to solidify their position in the top six.
Nonetheless, the outcome of this match is likely to hinge on the performance of the defensive units, as both teams have shown vulnerability at the back.
Prediction: Chennaiyin FC 1-1 FC Goa.