Welcome to Sportstar's live blog of the Indian Super League clash between Chennaiyin FC and Jamshedpur FC.
Preview: Chennaiyin stands in way of Jamshedpur's playoffs dream
Every team relishes a home game. The fans turn up in numbers to back you, the conditions are familiar and you tend to enjoy an “advantage”, if you may. However, reigning Indian Super League Chennaiyin FC has struggled to find success at Marina Arena, its home turf.
John Gregory's men failed to win a single game in Chennai until last week's 2-1 win over Bengaluru FC and will be eager to claim their second home victory when they host Jamshedpur FC on Saturday, in what will be the side's last home game of the season.
The match will have little bearing on the home side's season as it occupies the bottom spot on the table with eight points from 16 games, while the visiting Jamshedpur will have a maiden playoffs qualification in its sights. The Men of Steel currently have 23 points from 16 games and will have to win both of their upcoming games, and hope the other results play out in their favour.
READ | Soosairaj wants happy 'homecoming' against Chennaiyin
Chennaiyin comes into the tie after a 3-0 away loss to Kerala Blasters and will be hoping to make amends come Saturday. “It's our last game here. Everybody is very positive in the camp and there has been an extra effort made by everybody in the training ground to try and recover some pride after last week's poor performance in Kerala,” said Gregory on the eve of the match.
While the loss to Blasters was disheartening, Gregory believes his side will take confidence from the solid show it put up in its previous home clash against Bengaluru. “Our last home game [against Bengaluru FC] was an excellent performance. It certainly went to show that when the players really get themselves together, concentrate and work hard we can still beat the best teams in this country,” he stated.
“We can still have a significant outcome on the top-four places. If we beat Jamshedpur we can enable either ATK or Mumbai City FC to grab that last position in the playoffs,” he added.
Jamshedpur seeking perfect 'solution'
Jamshedpur has endured a disappointing run since the ISL resumed in January, having won only one of its four games since, but coach Cesar Ferrando said his sole focus was on emerging victorious on Saturday. “Tomorrow (Saturday) will be a tough match. Chennaiyin is a good team, but we need to win. At the end of the season, we can look back at the problems in our team, but we are now only thinking about how we can win tomorrow,” said Cesar Ferrando.
Looking back at the season, the Spaniard spoke about how many of his crucial players such as Sergio Cidoncha and Michael Soosairaj suffered injuries and how poor finishing affected his side's fortunes.
“We have drawn eight matches because I think we need more quality in our attack. I can't say [we had] bad luck or [give you] any other excuse. Our level in quality in attack is low. But many of our players have scored, unlike the other teams. [Sergio] Cidoncha, Carlos [Calvo], [Sumeet] Passi, Farukh [Choudhary] have all scored,” he said.
Ferrando also gave the scribes a little chemistry class, saying he was looking for the perfect "solution" to win. “We need a solution. We have a solvent and a solute. To get a solution, you need to mix a solvent and a solute. The solvent is the players and the solute is the players' effort, humility, and respect for the opponent,” he remarked.
Jamshedpur will miss the services of striker Sumeet Passi owing to ankle injury. Defenders Robin Gurung and Raju Gaekwad will also miss the clash, with the former suffering a fractured foot after last week's game against FC Pune City.
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