I-League: Chennai under pressure for maiden victory

Chennai City FC, which is yet to register a victory so far, should find the going tough as it runs into a defensively solid Aizawl FC.

Chennai City FC has an uphill task against Aizawl FC on Saturday.

Chennai City FC, playing at home, will be looking for its first win of the season. It has just one point from the four matches.

Robin Charles Raja’s men will find it tough as they encounter a defensively solid Aizawl FC, which is third on the table — on goal difference — with 10 points.

Khalid Jamil should, understandably, be confident ahead of the fixture on Saturday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, but the Aizawl coach played it safe at the pre-match presser. “We are playing a solid team in Chennai City FC and we are not taking them lightly. I have seen all their matches on TV so far and they are defensively strong. They do have some experienced players in the squad, so it will be a tough game tomorrow,” he said.

Robin Charles Raja is aware of the task at hand. “A look at the points table shows they (Aizawl) are a threat. We have played well so far but we need more goals. We are getting better but in the end it’s the results that matter,” he said.

Chennai City FC will most likely be without skipper Dharmaraj Ravanan, who suffered an injury in the previous game against Mohun Bagan. “Ravanan is getting better but I’m still waiting for the physio’s report. We will want to save him as we have two away games on the trot after tomorrow,” said the coach.

Raegan looking to impress

With Chennai looking for goals, striker A. Raegan, who was recently snapped up by the team as part of its initiative to sign up local talent, will look to impress in front of the home crowd. Hailing from Thoothoor in Kanyakumari District, Raegan is slowly blending with the team. “After a tough first few days, I’m a bit more confident now with the help of coach Robin. The first few days were tough as I was getting to know my teammates. After a couple of training sessions, I feel more at home,” he said.

Jayesh Rane will be the other ‘local boy’ to feature in Saturday’s game. On loan from the ISL side, Chennaiyin FC, Aizawl has a lot of expectation from Rane. Though he had a less than spectacular campaign last season, Khalid is not worried. “Jayesh is playing well. He played well enough in the ISL and has had a good start to this season. Touchwood, he will do well tomorrow,” said the Aizawl coach.