ISL 2021 preview: Chennaiyin FC pushes for top-four berth in match against SC East Bengal

In the absence of talismanic midfielder and skipper Rafael Crivellaro, fifth-placed Chennaiyin will hope to put together positive results to make its way up the table.

In the last meeting between the two sides, East Bengal struck two goals from corners in a 2-2 draw.   -  ISL/Sportzpics

Chennaiyin FC has the opportunity to make the top-four when it takes on SC East Bengal in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the GMC Athletic Stadium on Monday.

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In the absence of talismanic midfielder and skipper Rafael Crivellaro, sixth-placed Chennaiyin is seeking to put together positive results to make its way up the table. In the three matches since the Brazilian's season-ending injury, Chennaiyin has lost once before taking four points from their back-to-back matches against Odisha FC.

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Striker Ismael Goncalves made his first start in over a month and scored twice in the 2-1 win over Odisha on Wednesday to ease Chennaiyin’s struggles in front of goal.

Previous fixture: ISL 2020-21: Steinmann brace earns SC East Bengal draw with Chennaiyin


Chennaiyin head coach Csaba Laszlo wants his team to add discipline in defence in the second half of the season.

The Romanian said, "I think we have to sometimes be more compact. We talk about the chances that we don't score but in this [Odisha] game we scored two but I must also be honest that the opponent also had some good opportunities. We need a little more attention in midfield and defence. Generally, I'm satisfied with the performance of the team."

Set-pieces could prove to be a major talking point in the contest. East Bengal has scored five goals from dead-ball situations, while Chennaiyin has conceded six set-piece goals. In the last meeting between the two sides, East Bengal struck two goals from corners in a 2-2 draw.

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The Red and Golds pulled off a last-gasp draw in their last game against Kerala Blasters on Friday to maintain a six-match unbeaten run. The match against Chennaiyin will be their fifth game in 16 days.

SCEB head coach Robbie Fowler said, “As regards the fixture congestion, I think we've been unfortunate. We've played a lot more games in succession as compared to other teams. Having said that, we are a momentum team. We will try to embrace the situation and play to win points in every match.”

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