The return of midfielder Edu Bedia will be a welcome boost for Goa.
The reigning champions faltered in the first game of their tournament as they lost to their opponents in last season’s final, Bengaluru FC by one goal to nil. The Marina Machans will be eager to get their season up and running against a Goa side who looked devastating in attack but highly suspect defensively in their previous match against NorthEast United FC.
John Gregory (Chennaiyin FC):
The Englishman identified Coro as a threat
“They are two teams that I expect to be involved in the playoffs and to be finishing in the top four”
It was a lack of sharpness in front of goal that cost Chennaiyin FC side against BFC. Gregory stated that while he took several positives from the game, he expected a better attacking display from his side against FC Goa.
“We took huge positives from that game. We dominated the ball. But we need to use it a bit better in the final third. You have to take chances and opportunities that come our way. We need to continue what we are doing and do it better”, said Gregory
The Englishman identified FC Goa’s striker, Coro as the danger man following his brace against NorthEast United FC. He also warned his side to be wary of the Goan side’s threat on the counter-attack.
“Goa, if they get half a chance, they are always likely to score. We have to very aware of Coro who scored twice the other day. We have to ensure we are switched on defensively”, said the manager.
Sergio Lobera (FC Goa):
Lobera hailed Chennaiyin FC’s defence
Defence is Lobera’s primary concern after his side showed off their potency in attack against NorthEast United, with last season’s Golden Boot winner, Coro scoring a brace. However, defensive errors ensured that FCG left the game with nothing more than a single point.
“As a coach, there are some aspects we must work on, defence wise. But we play attacking football and we look forward to playing that,” said Lobera.
Goa will see the return of Edu Bedia who will be key in breaking down a defensively sound Chennaiyin FC side. Lobera hailed Chennaiyin FC’s defence and stated that it was going to be a very tough game for his Goa side.
“Chennaiyin FC still have three foreigners at the back which is similar to last season. The names might have changed but, I think, Chennaiyin is a strong squad and defensively they will be very solid.”
The Marina Machans will be without the services of Dhanpal Ganesh but will take on FC Goa with an otherwise full-strength squad.
The return of midfielder Edu Bedia will be a welcome boost for Goa but they will continue to miss the services of the suspended, Brandon Fernandes.
Jeje, Nelson, Augusto, Fernandes, Vanmalsawma, Germanpreet, Lalrinzuala, Sabia, Alves, Calderon, Singh.
Coro, Desai, Boumous, Singh, Rodrigues, Jahouh, Pena, Chinglensana, Fall, Fernandes, Nawaz.
Did You Know?
Chennaiyin FC and FC Goa played against each other four times last season and the team from the south came out on top in all but one of those games.
FC Goa scored a league-high 42 goals last season but also conceded 28 goals which was more than the bottom-placed NorthEast United FC.
Chennaiyin scored 24 goals last season, and conceded 19.
The match will take place tomorrow at 7:30 PM, at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. On television, the match will be live on Star Sports 3/HD. It will also be streamed on Hotstar and Jio TV.