ISL 2018: Pune City FC, Chennaiyin FC still looking for first win

FC Pune City and Chennaiyin FC will look for their first win of the current season of the Indian Super League when the two sides clash on Tuesday.

FC Pune City players train ahead of their Indian Super League clash against Chennaiyin FC.   -  ISL MEDIA

FC Pune City's and Chennaiyin FC's struggles to perform in the 2018 edition of the Indian Super League will come as a surprise to many. Both teams were at their stunning best last season and eased their way into the play-offs. Chennaiyin FC went on to win the ISL title, but it nows sits at the bottom of the table.

Time is running out for both the teams, and as they clash in a crucial battle at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium, Pune, on Tuesday, it will be survival of the fiercest.

Interim coach Pradyum Reddy has taken charge of FC Pune City after Miguel Angel Portugal was sacked two weeks ago.   -  ISL MEDIA

 

“Nobody would have thought that two of last year’s semifinalists would be sitting in this position when we are coming close to about one-third of the season. We find ourselves in a position that we don’t want to be in and it’s our responsibility to dig ourselves out of the hole we’re in,” said interim Pune City coach Pradyum Reddy.

Reddy took over from the sacked Miguel Angel Portugal and has been trying to get the team back on track. His first game in charge saw the side slip to a  4-2 loss to FC Goa but a draw against Kerala Blasters suggested his team could turn things around.

However, he has a few concerns going into Tuesday's match against Chennaiyin FC. Brazilian striker Diego Carlos has been handed an additional suspension of two matches for his red-card offence against FC Goa, while Marko Stankovic, who scored a blinder last week, could miss out due to injury.

The onus will once again be on Emiliano Alfaro and Marcelinho to find their form in front of goal.

John Gregory’s Chennaiyin FC has endured a dismal season so far. The side hasn't won a single match and has picked up just one point in six matches. In fact, alongside Pune, it has the worst defensive record in the league having conceded 11 goals so far.

“We have had an embarrassing season so far, with just one point in six games. Talking here won’t make any difference, we need to do the talking on the field. Tomorrow night I will be choosing players who have the hunger, and desire to get all three points,” said Gregory.

Chennaiyin FC will be looking to claim its first win of the season when it faces FC Pune City on Tuesday.   -  ISL MEDIA

 

Gregory Nelson could find himself back in the starting line-up after putting up two commendable performances as a substitute. Goalkeeper Sanjiban Ghosh could also be given a look in ahead of Karanjit Singh, who hasn't had a great season so far.

With the two bottom-placed clubs desperate for a win, Tuesday's clash promises to be an exciting one.