Chennaiyin FC, East Bengal FC seek timely revivals as ISL action resumes post international break

Chennaiyin FC will host East Bengal FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Saturday, November 25, 2023, as the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 action after international break.

Sometimes, results don’t reflect the true performances of a side and both these teams have had that sort of a season so far.

They have shown glimpses of their potential but have often ended up on the unfortunate end of the matches. Starting off afresh after the break, both clubs backed by seasoned coaches will be eager to get the desired results under their belt.

What’s at stake?

Chennaiyin FC

The Marina Machans succumbed to a 3-0 loss at home to FC Goa in their last game, but their unbeaten streak (W2 D4) against the Red and Gold Brigade in the ISL will give them significant confidence heading into this game.

Owen Coyle must have worked on strengthening his defensive unit, given that the team has conceded 12 goals in the first six games of this campaign, which is their highest ever tally after six matches of a season in competition history.

East Bengal FC

After three straight 2-1 losses, Carles Cuadrat will be keen to put an end to this streak of defeats against a team that has historically gotten the better of them. The club has not been outclassed by a team this season, but they have been unable to capitalise upon moments and windows of opportunities that could help them end up on the positive side of the result.

Cuadrat has imprinted his philosophy in the team, reflecting in their industriousness at the centre of the park. The team has the highest tackle success rate (75%) amongst all sides but all factors will have to fall in place together for them to get a much-needed win on Saturday.

Key Players

Rahim Ali (Chennaiyin FC)

The striker is yet to find the back of the net this season, but he has two goals to his name in this fixture in ISL history. The 25-year-old will have to repay the faith laid on him by Coyle, and a strike on his home turf will ensure that he gets his campaign up and running in style.

Nandhakumar Sekar (East Bengal FC)

With two assists in five appearances, Nandhakumar Sekar has been a brilliant source of creativity in the final third for East Bengal. He has attempted 14 carries with take-ons this season, which is the outright most by any player and this willingness to be proactive upfront will uplift his individual performances to a great extent in the rest of the campaign.

Head-to-Head

Played – 6

Chennaiyin FC – 2

East Bengal FC – 0

Draws – 4

Trivia: East Bengal FC risk succumbing to their joint-longest losing streak (four games in January 2023) with a defeat in this game.

Team Talk

“We have worked really hard in the last two weeks and we are looking forward to another home game. We were disappointed with the result against FC Goa, but there were things that were certainly self-inflicted. We allowed some easy goals; there were some deflections that happened. We made chances but the last couple of weeks have given us chances to work on different things, so we are looking forward to a tough game, fresh and ready to go,” Chennaiyin FC head coach Owen Coyle mentioned prior to the game.

“We have to improve in some competitive factors to get us more points. So, we are conscious, to have conceded two goals in the last three games makes it difficult to get points. Lalchungnunga and Mahesh Singh Naorem were with the national team, but we have been working hard with the rest of the players in this aspect,” East Bengal FC head coach Carles Cuadrat said in the pre-match press conference.

ISL Fantasy

Top picks and players to watch out for

Cleiton Silva (7.9cr)

Three goals in five matches make him a top pick for this fixture

Nandhakumar Sekar (7cr)

Has bagged two assists (both to Mahesh Singh) so far this season

Rafael Crivellaro (7.6cr)

Two goals and assists each to his name in six matches in this campaign

Also Read: Hemang Jadhav’s late goal gives Young Guns 1-0 win over Spartans in nail-biting clash

Also Read: Spurs in India: Tottenham Hotspur legends Ledley King and Ossie Ardiles to visit Mumbai and Bengaluru 

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