ISL 2020-21 Preview: Chennaiyin looks to extend winning run against winless SC East Bengal

ISL debutant SC East Bengal is currently reeling at the bottom of the table without a win, while former champion Chennaiyin FC is placed eighth.

The contest against Robbie Fowler's (right) SCEB offers a chance for Csaba Laszlo's (left) CFC to consolidate the momentum from the win and move up the table.   -  SPORTZPICS/ISL

Chennaiyin FC (CFC) ended its four-match winless streak with a 2-1 victory over FC Goa in its last game and will head into Indian Super League's (ISL 2020-21) Boxing Day clash as the favourite when it takes on SC East Bengal (SCEB) at the Tilak Maidan on Saturday.

LIVE: SC East Bengal vs Chennaiyin FC

Things fell in place for former champion CFC in its previous encounter following the return of skipper Rafael Crivellaro, who alongside Anirudh Thapa, made the side more organised and creative.

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However, CFC would still want to be sharp in the final third of the pitch and not squander as many chances as it did even in the game against Goa.

The contest against SCEB, currently last in the points table, offers a chance for CFC, currently eighth in the standings, to consolidate the momentum from the win and move up the table.

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Despite starting as the favourite, CFC coach Csaba Laszlo is not taking things for granted saying, “Even if you are the favourite, there is a lot of pressure. It will be a tough game for us. They are a new team but they have adapted well. We have to concentrate very well and remain focussed."

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SC East Bengal, though, would rue the fact it squandered a chance to get its first win in its last outing against Kerala Blasters FC. Despite dominating the match, it conceded an equaliser in the dying moments.

Coach Robbie Fowler said despite the heartbreak, his team’s morale is high and the things are looking good.

“The morale that we got here has been good. At times, we have been unlucky. It is totally unfortunate that you are conceding goals at the last minute. But the lads played well and we created a lot of chances,” said Fowler.

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"We are not a million miles away. The tide is turning. And hopefully, it will happen pretty soon,” he added.

The squads

SC East Bengal FC: Debjit Majumder, Rafique Ali, Mirshad Michu, Sankar Roy, Daniel Fox, Scott Neville, Gurtej Singh, Narayan Das, Abhishek Ambekar, Rana Gharami, Samad Mallick, Ningthoukhongjam Rohen Singh, Anil Chawan, Aaron Hammadi-Holloway, Anthony Pilkington, Matti Steinman, Jacques Maghoma, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Bikash Jairu, Sehnaj Singh, Surchandra Singh, Loken Metei, Haobam Singh, Milan Singh, Wahengbam Luwang, Mohamed Irshad, Mohamed Rafique, Yumnam Singh, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Balwant Singh, CK Vineeth, Girik Khosla, Harmanpreet Singh

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

Match Facts:

Match Timing: 7:30 pm

Venue: Tilak Maidan