Match Preview – Chennaiyin FC vs Bengaluru FC

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Chennaiyin FC face Bengaluru FC in a highly anticipated South Indian derby on Friday as both teams look to secure all three points. Both teams are coming back from goalless draws in their last matches and would be hoping to be productive in front of goal this time around.

Chennaiyin will be looking to get back on winning ways after a draw against local rivals Kerala Blasters. They had started the season brightly with a 2-1 victory over Jamshedpur scoring on the very first minute of their campaign. But the exciting strikeforce of Chennai failed to break the defensive wall of Kerala Blasters in the next game. There are areas of concern in the final third that need to be rectified. Chennai were undone by lacklustre finishing which failed to get them the win in their last match. They will be against a formidable opponent in Bengaluru FC and have to be on their toes to get a better result.

Bengaluru, on the other hand, are winless in their first two matches which wasn’t expected of them. They failed to defend a two goal lead and went on to draw 2-2 against FC Goa in their first match. In another South Indian derby against Hyderabad FC, they could only manage a point again after a goalless draw. Bengaluru are under pressure to get their first win of the new campaign. With 3 overseas forwards and a record Indian goalscorer, the Bengaluru attackers haven’t yet proved their worth this season. They will be eager to etch their names on the scoresheet, especially skipper Sunil Chhetri who is yet to open his account for the season.

FOREIGN PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT :

CHENNAIYIN FC :

Rafael Crivellaro had a superb outing in the last season. He would be looking to use his playmaking abilities to create chances as the Chennai squad has a good amount of variety in attack. Isma would be a key player for Chennai in this match hoping to make use of the wide areas against the three man defence of Bengaluru. Fatkhullo is expected to create a stir coming from the bench.

BENGALURU FC :

Cleiton Silva scored Bengaluru’s first goal of the season. His attacking mindset showed that he could be a threat for any opposition. Dimas Delgado can make things happen in midfield and could be a key player tonight. Kristian Opseth fit into the role of a target man and he creates space for his fellow forwards which is essential for any attacking team.

INDIAN PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT :

CHENNAIYIN FC :

Anirudh Thapa will be crucial to initiate attacks and pull the strings from midfield. Lalianzuala Chhangte was promising with his dribbling and positioning in the first two matches. If he can mend his poor finishing, it would do justice to Chennai’s potential in attack. Deepak Tangri’s physical presence and reading of the game were vital in Chennai’s gameplay and the youngster can go on to have a promising season. It could also turn out to be a breakthrough season for Rahim Ali who looked promising in his short cameos from the bench.

BENGALURU FC :

Sunil Chhetri will be very eager to be among the goals and do what he does best. Winger Ashique can be the X-factor in this match with his pacy runs along the left flank. Midfielder Suresh Wangjam was solid in the holding midfield position along with Erik Paartalu. His passing and movement would be a nuisance for the opposition.

TEAM NEWS :

BENGALURU FC :

Both the teams have full strength squads without any notable injuries. Dimas Delgado had come on from the bench in the previous matches and may feature in the starting lineup for Bengaluru this time.

CHENNAIYIN FC :

Chennaiyin may see one change in the starting lineup with Jerry Lalrinzuala expected to replace Lalchuanmawia Fanai at left back. Edwin and Fatkhullo are expected to make appearances from the bench to influence the game.

PROBABLE XI :

CHENNAIYIN FC : Vishal (GK), Reagan, Eli Sabia, Sipovic, Jerry, Deepak, Thapa, Isma, Crivellaro, Chhangte, Sylvestr

Formation : 4-2-3-1

Match Preview - Chennaiyin FC vs Bengaluru FC LINEUP111607026191843

Substitutes : Karanjit (GK), Fanai, Dhanpal, Edwin, Memo, Germanpreet, Abhijit, Fatkhullo, Rahim

BENGALURU FC : Gurpreet (GK), Khabra, Fran, Juanan, Suresh, Dimas, Udanta, Ashique, Cleiton, Opseth, Chhetri

Formation : 3-4-3

Match Preview - Chennaiyin FC vs Bengaluru FC LINEUP111607026161859

Substitutes : Ralte (GK), Pratik, Bheke, Muirang, Augustine, Morajkar, Paartalu, Haokip, Brown

HEAD TO HEAD :

Over the past 3 seasons in the ISL, the two teams have met 7 times. Chennai and Bengaluru have had 3 wins each and one draw. One of those wins for Chennai came in the 2017-18 final when they beat Bengaluru 3-2 in their own backyard to win their second ISL title.

PREDICTION :

Neither of the teams are clear favorites in paper and it’s expected to pan out the same way in the pitch. It is likely to end in a draw or a close win for Bengaluru keeping in mind that they are looking for their first victory of the season.

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