Chennaiyin FC will look to get back to winning ways while Bengaluru FC (BFC) would want to secure its first victory of the campaign when the two southern rivals go toe-to-toe at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim, Goa, on Friday.
Chennaiyin has looked sharp thus far in the tournament, notching up a 2-1 win over Jamshedpur FC in the opener, and creating quite a few chances against Kerala Blasters before settling for a point, courtesy a spurned penalty.
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BFC, on the other hand, has started with two draws and is struggling to build momentum. Question marks are being raised over the side’s offensive play, with the 2018-19 champion having recorded just 12 shots in its two games, with only three of them on target.
Chennaiyin has not been found wanting in this aspect, with captain and playmaker Rafael Crivellaro and India’s Anirudh Thapa providing the creative impetus. But its goal-conversion rate has to improve and coach Csaba Laszlo will hope that striker Jakub Sylvestr will quickly recover after missing the spot-kick against Kerala.
Where BFC has the edge over other outfits is in the fitness department. In an ISL season where players being stretchered off mid-match has become all too common, BFC has a fully fit squad. Cuadrat also confirmed that influential midfielder Dimas Delgado, who is being eased into the team and has come off the bench in both matches, was closer to a starting spot.
Laszlo, meanwhile, confirmed that left-back Jerry Lalrinzuala will start instead of Chhuantea Fanai, who was substituted in the encounter versus Kerala with an injury.
- THE SQUADS -
CHENNAIYIN FC: Karanjit Singh, Vishal Kaith, Revanth BY, Samik Mitra, Eli Sabia, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Enes Sipovic, Lalchhuanmawia Fanai, Reagan Singh, Deepak Tangri, Aqib Nawab, Remi Aimol, Ganesan Balaji, Anirudh Thapa, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Rafael Crivellaro, Memo Moura, Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev, Edwin Vanspaul, Thoi Singh, Dhanpal Ganesh, Germanpreet Singh, Abhijit Sarkar, Sinivasan Pandiyan, Aman Chetri, Esmael Goncalves, Jakub Sylvestr, Rahim Ali
BENGALURU FC: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Lara Sharma, Dipesh Chauhan, Lalthuammawia Ralte, Juanan, Rahul Bheke, Fran Gonzalez, Harmanjot Khabra, Ajith Kumar, Joe Zoherliana, Biswa Darjee, Namgyal Bhutia, Parag Srivas, Pratik Chaudhari, Wungngayam Muirang, Dimas Delgado, Erik Paartalu, Suresh Wangjam, Thoi Singh, Ajay Chhetri, Naorem Roshan Singh, Emanuel Lalchhanchhuaha, Amay Morajkar, Sunil Chhetri, Kristian Opseth, Cleiton Silva, Ashique Kuruniyan, Deshorn Brown, Udanta Singh, Edmund Lalrindika, Leon Augustin, Semboi Haokip
Venue: GMC Stadium, Bambolin
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