Both teams are in the last chance salon to keep their top four hopes alive.
Chennaiyin FC’s previous game against Bengaluru FC saw Csaba Laszlo lose his wits and flash his hands above to the heavens for a way out. The Marina Machans have come to a stage where they would certainly look for some divine intervention to help them out of their goalscoring crisis. After all their efforts, the Marina Machans have scored only 11 goals in the Indian Super League this season. They now face a side in a similar situation. Jamshedpur FC have been inconsistent this season and like Chennaiyin, they have also found goals tough to come by, despite possessing some talented attackers.
Both sides desperately require goals and results to go in their favour. It is a game that both must simply win and get three points, if they are to stake their claim for the playoff spots. It really gives the game on Wednesday night an impression of “winner takes all.”
Chennaiyin FC must more or less win all of their remaining games to have a remote chance of making it to the playoffs. As it has become evident by now, goalscoring has been their Achilles Heel this season and despite buying plenty of attacking options, the incoming signings have rather disappointed with their performances.
Their January signing Manuel Lanzarote impressed in his debut for the club against Bengaluru FC by driving the gameplay forward. However, the two-time ISL champions really need to find the back of the net and stitch more wins to get themselves a chance at making it to the playoffs. They would take inspiration from their win against the same opposition when they faced each other in their opening game this season.
As for Jamshedpur, the situation is nothing different from what Chennaiyin face – lack of goals, inconsistency and a desperate need for an upturn in form. The Men of Steel have shown flashes of their quality, but have struggled to translate it to results and see out games. Their defeat in the last game against East Bengal would’ve particularly hurt them, as the Red and Gold dominated proceedings and helped themselves to a win.
Anirudh Thapa returned to the Chennaiyin FC lineup after missing the previous three games. But, he was taken off at half-time over concerns surrounding his fitness. His availability for the game against Jamshedpur FC remains to be seen. Lanzarote would start after impressing on his debut against Bengaluru FC. But the Marina Machans would be without the services of Jerry Lalrinzuala who picked up a one-match suspension after accumulating four yellow cards.
Jamshedpur FC have no injury concerns in their squad and Owen Coyle could be expected to make a few tactical tweaks to his side for the game against his former employers.
Chennaiyin FC and Jamshedpur FC have faced each other seven times in the ISL, with the Marina Machans winning three of those encounters to only one victory for the Men of Steel. There have been three drawn encounters.
Chennaiyin FC: Kaith (GK), Reagan, Sabia, Sipovic, Jerry, Memo, Thapa, Ali, Lanzarote, Chhangte, Isma.
Jamshedpur FC: Rehenesh TP (GK), Renthlei, Eze, Hartley, Gahlot, Doungel, Vanmalsawma, Alex, Monroy, Farukh, Valskis.
Man to Watch
Manuel Lanzarote (Chennaiyin FC)
The much-awaited debut of Manuel Lanzarote for Chennaiyin FC finally came in their previous game against Bengaluru FC. The Spaniard gave a good account of his qualities as a replacement for the injured Rafael Crivellaro. The Spaniard was the driving force behind Chennaiyin’s attack and despite not scoring a goal, Lanzarote instigated attacks with his intricate play, awareness and vision on the ball.
But, the pressure is on him to deliver right away with Chennaiyin FC in their final chance to make it to the playoffs. He must utilize all his experience and quality to take them as far as possible.
Nerijus Valskis (Jamshedpur FC)
Despite the goalscoring troubles of Jamshedpur FC, Nerijus Valskis has continued his form from last season, scoring eight goals in 15 games this season. The forward has been involved in more than half of Jamshedpur’s goals, which underlines his importance to the side and the evident reason behind Owen Coyle bringing him along from Chennaiyin.
The Lithuanian’s prolific nature is down to his quality finishing, something that his opponents and former team on Wednesday have been sorely missing this season. Valskis has been taking 2.5 shots/game and also completed 24 passes a game. But, he would fancy his chances against the defensive setup of Chennaiyin.
Did You Know?
- Jamshedpur FC have completed the most number of crosses this season (264)
- Both teams have kept the same number of clean-sheets this season (6)
- TP Rehenesh has made the third-highest number of saves in ISL history (210) behind Subrata Paul (264) and Amrinder Singh (259).
The match between Chennaiyin FC and Jamshedpur FC will be live on Star Sports 1 SD & HD, Star Sports 2 SD & HD (English), Star Sports Hindi 1 SD & HD, Star Sports 3 and several other regional languages. Live streaming of the match will be available on Hotstar and Jio TV.