ISL 2019-20: Bengaluru FC, Chennaiyin seek change in fortune

Chennaiyin is rock bottom with just one point while BFC, the defending champion, is just two places above with three points. Both will hope for change of fortune.

Chennaiyin FC 's (CFC) team training under head coach John Gregory, at Sree Kanteerava Stadium, ahead of their match against Bengaluru FC (BFC).   -  k. murali kumar

Three games into the ISL season, little would have Bengaluru FC (BFC) and Chennaiyin FC thought that they would be languishing in the lower rungs of the table, winless.

Chennaiyin, the 2017-18 winner, is rock bottom with just one point. BFC, the defending champion, is just two places above with three points. When the two clash at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Sunday, to rekindle what has developed into a fierce rivalry, they will be desperate for a change of script.

READ | 'The Kanteeravazo’, bragging rights and stare-offs: Bengaluru-Chennaiyin’s bubbling rivalry

Changing dynamics

The most glaring of troubles for either team is the complete lack of goals. BFC has one and Chennaiyin zero. Carles Cuadrat, the BFC manager, sought to take heart from the number of chances created -- 25 shots (on and off target). So did John Gregory, his Chennaiyin counterpart, claiming 40 shots in the last two games alone.

But it is increasingly clear that BFC is finding life tough without Miku, the star striker who scored 20 goals in 32 appearances over the last two campaigns, while Chennaiyin continues to miss the services of Jeje Lalpekhlua as he is recovering from knee surgery.

“These things happen. We now have to change the dynamic,” said Cuadrat. “Last game [vs. Jamshedpur] we created chances with six to seven players. One day we will score. I hope it's against Chennaiyin.”

READ| Bengaluru FC coach Cuadrat: Referees should be accountable for decisions

Big concern

For Gregory, it is also important not to carry the baggage of last season’s last-place finish. “The points don’t reflect the performances and in that, we are very similar to BFC,” Gregory said. “But it’s all about results. We didn't get enough of them last season and this season we have started in a similar fashion. It is a big concern because I don't want a repeat of last year.”

“But I am confident that we will get a good performance,” he added. “There is a special feeling about this match. It's a little bit more than just a game. So at 10 pm when I sit to watch Liverpool vs. Man City, I hope to be there with a bottle of beer and 3 points.”

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