ISL 2020-21: Chennaiyin FC face stiff challenge against NorthEast United as they aim to return to winning ways

Despite not getting the results and points their performances have merited, CFC have been arguably one of the most attractive sides to watch, creating a flurry of chances in every game they have played so far.

Press Trust of India December 13, 2020 09:33:51 IST
ISL 2020-21: Chennaiyin FC face stiff challenge against NorthEast United as they aim to return to winning ways

File image of Kwesi Appiah: Sportzpics for ISL

Vasco: Former champions Chennaiyin FC face a tough task when they take on NorthEast United FC in an Indian Super League match on Sunday.

CFC are up against one of three unbeaten sides so far this season, and need to raise the level of play to secure a positive result.

Despite not getting the results and points their performances have merited, CFC have been arguably one of the most attractive sides to watch, creating a flurry of chances in every game they have played so far.

They had the advantage against Mumbai City FC in their previous encounter but succumbed to a 1-2 defeat as a result of some questionable refereeing decisions and indecisive defending from set-pieces.

CFC head coach Csaba Laszlo will be hopeful his side's intent and vigour will translate into goals and wins, following two disheartening losses to Bengaluru FC and MCFC.

Prior to that, Chennaiyin drew 0-0 against Kerala Blasters, having won their opening encounter 2-1 against Jamshedpur FC.

A return to the Tilak Maidan may be a good omen for Laszlo's men as it was at this ground they beat JFC.

Laszlo said the trio of midfielder Anirudh Thapa, defender Enes Sipovic and attacker Isma Goncalves are expected to return to action much sooner than he had earlier expected.

Chennaiyin were unbeaten against NEUFC last season en route the ISL final, beating them 2-0 at home followed by a 2-2 draw in Guwahati.

Like CFC, NorthEast are also a different outfit from last season, now under a young head coach in the form of Spaniard Gerard Nus.

Speaking about the challenges NEUFC pose, Laszlo said, "NorthEast have had a very good start. They are a stable team with good offensive options. And they are compact at the back, as we have seen.

"We must be prepared for them. At the same time, I believe in our team to the fullest. We have shown enough potential so far, now we must go out and get the results."

NEUFC, on their part, will be aiming to extend their unbeaten streak. The Highlanders, placed third in the standings with nine points, have been among the early pacesetters this season, with two wins and three draws.

Northeast United are the joint-highest scorers so far this season with Mumbai City FC (with eight goals each) and in defence, they have also made it difficult for opponents to break them down, keeping two clean sheets.

It will be a lot of hard work for CFC to get through the NEUFC defence.

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