Preview: Chennaiyin FC take on Jamshedpur FC in an Indian Super League game at the Marina Arena on Sunday with an eye on a win and improve their chances of advancing to the play-offs.
With 27 points from 15 games, Chennaiyin are third in the standings behind the already qualified Bengaluru FC and FC Pune City. A victory against Jamshedpur, currently fourth in the table (on 25), will push the former champions into second.
Coach John Gregory had praised the team after a 1-0 away win against Goa, their third straight clean sheet. He will be expecting the players to continue their impressive form in Sunday's encounter and importantly come away with a win.
Having beaten Jamshedpur in the away match earlier, Chennaiyin will look to win the home game and expect to firm up qualification prospects.
A draw against bottom-placed Delhi Dynamos last Sunday hurt Chennaiyin's chances but they bounced back with a narrow win against FC Goa.
The coach would want to make sure that the team doesn't leave the qualification prospect till the very end.
Chennaiyin have games against Kerala Blasters and Mumbai City FC to come after the fixture against Jamshedpur FC.
There is a lot at stake for the visiting team as a loss could dent its chances of advancing. Having posted a hard-fought win over NorthEast United FC in the previous match, Steve Coppell's men will hope to carry forward the momentum and pick up three points.
But it would be easier said than done as Chennaiyin have been in good form, save for a defeat against table-toppers Bengaluru. Jeje Lalpekhlua has been on the mark more often than not and is the leading goal-scorer for the team with seven strikes.
The midfield comprising Raphael Augusto and local star Dhanapal Ganesh among others has been efficient and fed the forward line where Jeje has been influential.
Jamshedpur have scored only 15 goals so far while keeping seven clean-sheets and they will need to find the net more often if they have to march ahead in the league.
The team under Coppell has bounced back after a lacklustre start, having taking four games to open the goal-scoring account. At the half-way stage of the league, Jamshedpur FC had only 10 points from nine games.
However, they have got better and garnered five wins from their next six games to put themselves in contention for a play-off berth.
An interesting game is on the cards with the attacking 'Men in Blue' up against a side that prides itself on its defensive skills.
Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.
Updated Date: Feb 18, 2018 19:52:48 IST