I-League: Chennai City FC hopes to make it count against Bengaluru FC

Chennai City FC will host Bengaluru FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, in Chennai on Wednesday. With the team reeling at the points table, coach V. Soundararajan admits that his side has a tough job in hand. But then, he isn’t willing to think too much about it.

The Bengaluru FC players share a light moment during a training session on Tuesday. Though the team has the edge, it will have to battle the conditions in Chennai.   -  Special Arrangement

Chennai City FC will host Bengaluru FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, in Chennai on Wednesday. With the team reeling at the points table, coach V. Soundararajan admits that his side has a tough job in hand. But then, he isn’t willing to think too much about it. “Bengaluru FC are one of the best teams in India. If you see their team, they are very well organised. But wewill go for the win,” the coach said on the eve of the match.

After the 1-1 draw against DSK Shivajians in the previous match, at home on Sunday, the team occupies the ninth spot in the table, equal on points with Mumbai FC (9 points). Chennai, however, has a superior goal difference.

Soundararajan, who usually prefers fielding the side in a 4-4-1-1 formation, however, remained mum on his strategy for the Wednesday’s game. “I haven’t decided the formation yet. I will decide on all that after having another team meeting. We need to assess our opposition, and decide the team accordingly,” he said.

Even though the side will miss the service of Raju Yumnam, there isn’t any clarity over Edwin’s availability either. “He (Edwin) may not play as he had only one training session after the last game. I will have to consult the physio before taking a decision,” Soundararajan said.

Fixture congestion

Prior to the 1-0 win against Minerva on Sunday, defending champion Bengaluru FC had racked up four draws and a loss. Coach Albert Roca has blamed it on bad luck and fixture congestion. “We have been unlucky with our results. It is not a fair reflection of our performances. We aren’t scoring but we have the players to solve that problem,” he said.

“In the past 10 days, we have played four games. It is impossible for a coach to plan too far ahead. But we have to respect the schedule,” said the former Barcelona assistant coach.

On the titles chances, Roca pretty much threw in the towel. “For the title, we are a bit too far away. We are now focused on getting better game after game. I didn’t like the performance against Minerva, so we have to improve on that,” he said, adding: “Our performance was hampered by the horrible pitch there. But we will try to get three points tomorrow.”

The defending champion has no new injury concerns, and currently sits in fourth spot with 16 points.

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