After two consecutive defeats, Chennaiyin FC (CFC) faces an uphill task to get its campaign back on track when it takes on an undefeated NorthEast United FC (NEUFC) at the Tilak Maidan here on Sunday.
Despite being the better team on the park on Wednesday, CFC lost 2-1 to Mumbai City FC thanks to some sloppy defending from set-pieces squandering a 1-0 lead.
With just four points from as many games, the former champion needs to find a way to capitalising on chances and get valuable points on board again.
However, coach Csaba Laszlo is not pressing the panic button yet saying, “We played good football but it is also about results. The season is very long. I don't want to talk about where we will end. Against Mumbai, we were unhappy after the game and, with a little luck, we can get better results.”
The team has not also been helped by injuries to some of its key players. Its two foreign signings Esmael Goncalves and Enes Sipovic are likely to miss a couple of games after picking up injuries in the last match. One silver lining though is Anirudh Thapa, who missed the previous game, is back at training and could start on Sunday to give some creative inspiration on the field.
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In NorthEast, CFC faces a formidable opponent who has managed to eke out two clean sheets from five games and the joint highest-scorer with Mumbai City FC with eight goals so far.
Commenting on NEUFC, CFC coach Laszlo said, “They are a stable team. In offense, they have new players who have performed well. Generally, it's a team that can score goals against every opponent.”
NEUFC coach Gerard Nus though is not taking things for granted. “Chennaiyin is going to be a competitive team. We have seen the way they fight. In the last game (against Mumbai City), they did not get the result but, they created chances and were dangerous. We have to be ready for it,” Nus said on Saturday.