FC Goa looking to build on the good start against struggling Chennaiyin FC

FC Goa will play their third consecutive home game against a struggling Chennaiyin FC as they look to build on a solid start to their campaign after collecting four points from their first two games. Chennaiyin who are winnless and pointless heading into the game in Goa, will be looking to get their act together quickly before things start to become complicated for Marco Materazzi’s men.

It hardly comes easier than a visit to the Fatorda stadium when you are trying to end a bad run of results, but Marco Materazzi will believe his team has the talent to overturn FC Goa in their own backyard.

Form Guide & Head to Head

The two teams have had contrasting starts to the campaign as FC Goa have made pretty much the most of their home games having earned four points from the games against Delhi Dynamos and champions Atletico de Kolkata. FC Goa’s defence has looked really solid with Gregory and Lucio play at the heart of it. With a huge fan following at the Fatorda Stadium, very few visiting teams will have things going their way this season.

Chennaiyin have made a worst possible start to their campaign having lost both their opening games against Atletico de Kolkata at home and away to Delhi Dynamos. In both games, Chennaiyin did not look like the outfit that finished the league stage on the top. Materazzi’s men have looked disjointed and the players which took them to the semi-finals last season haven’t hit the ground running yet.

But Chennaiyin could take heart from last season where they breached FC Goa’s fortress to run away with a 2-1 win and all three points from Goa. It is a fixture which has seen the away teams get lot of jot as FC Goa beat Chennaiyin in Chennai in the other game between the two sides. Chennaiyin will be hoping this run continues.
at least today

Team News

Zico would be hesitant to change too much from the first two games. But he will be hoping Bikramjeet Singh will be able to shrug off an injury which kept him out of the first two games and come into his side. Narayan Das and Pranoy Halder will once again miss out after the duo is away with India on the International duty.

Zico may be willing to plug a few gaps which appeared in his team during the game against Atletico de Kolkata and may opt for change in personnel upfront or in the midfield.

Expected Starting XI: Elinton Andrade, Lucio, Gregory Arnolin, Debabrata Roy, Keenan Almeida, Bikramjit Singh, Leo Moura, Jofre, Romeo Fernandes, Mandar Rao Desai, Victor Simoes

Chennaiyin too will miss their Indian trio of Jeje Lapekhlua, Karanjit SIngh and Dhanachandra Singh who are away on international duty. Materazzi will be keen to shake his team up after a poor start and that could see Fikru return to the team upfront.

Expected Starting XI : Edel, Mendy, Potenza, Abhishek Das, Sena Ralte, Thoi Singh, Raphael Augusto, Harmanjot Khabra, Elano, Balwant Singh, Fikru

Managers’ Word

Playing their third game in eight days, head coach Zico hasn’t particularly given a thought at rotating his squad. “This is the beginning of the competition and all the players are fit and prepared to play,” he said.

FC Goa has scored thrice in two matches but have also found the upright as many times while Reinaldo da Cruz Oliveira has not been to convert all his chances.

However, Zico quipped, “It doesn’t bother me. It would bother me if he had no opportunities. One thing that I have been telling my team is what has been missing is for the midfield to play closer to Reinaldo.

On the other hand, Chennaiyin FC are coming into the tie after facing back to back defeats at the hands of the same two opponents faced by FC Goa.

“It is a disappointment that we lost two games in a row and we want to apologize to all our Chennaiyin FC fans but we want to assure that we will come back with a bang,” remarked the away team’s assistant coach Vivek Nagul.

“We have planned our sessions, we have planned what to do in the next game [against FC Goa] and game by game we will go ahead. This game we will see a lot of changes,” he added.

Live Telecast: Star Sports 1 & 2, Star Sports HD1 & HD2

Prediction

FC Goa 2-1 Chennaiyin FC

The home advantage may once again see FC Goa come out on top against a Chennaiyin FC side who will be desperately looking to get their first points on board this season. It will be a far from easy contest for The Gaurs as Chennaiyin FC will be very much up for the game. The game could easily end in a draw, but looking at Chennaiyin FC’s form, FC Goa might just edge this one.

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