The fixture is more about self-respect for both teams than the league standings.
Kerala Blasters and Chennaiyin FC face each other in their next Indian Super League 2020-21 fixture. Both outfits will come into the fixture with nothing left but pride to play for.
Kibu Vicuna lost his job after a disappointing season with the Yellow Army, while Csaba Laszlo too endured a heavily underwhelming season with the Marina Machans. The two clubs will look to end the season on a positive note.
Kerala Blasters have yet again let down their fans, who were promised improvement. The club are heading towards a penultimate finish in the standings, with only two games left to play. The players must show spirit in the absence of Kibu Vicuna, who lost his job in the week. A win and three points from the game will take them above ninth-placed SC East Bengal.
Chennaiyin FC were the runners-up last term and the aim was to go one step further and secure the title. However, the footballing Gods were not feeling very generous when it came to blessing the outfit. The Romanian coach did not have as much of an impact and the team never got out of first gear. The last game presents an opportunity to end the season on a high and kick-start the preparations for the next.
Kerala Blasters have an injury-free squad, but it will be interesting to see how they lineup against the Marina Machans post the departure of Kibu Vicuna. Denechandra Meitei at the left-back position was impressive and should retain his place. They could welcome Facundo Pereyra back into the matchday squad, as his quarantine spell was completed a few days ago.
For Chennaiyin, Manuel Lanzarote must start again after a good performance in the last match. One could also expect Anirudh Thapa to be part of the starting lineup against the Blasters.
Kerala Blasters FC: Gomes (GK); Singh, Kone, Costa, Denechandra; Rahul KP, Gomez, Seityasen, Kumar; Hooper, Murray.
Chennaiyin FC: Kaith (GK); Reagan, Sabia, Sipovic, Lalrinzuala; Lanzarote, Memo, Thapa; Chhangte, Ali, Sylvestr.
Out of the last 15 meetings between Kerala Blasters and Chennaiyin FC, the Yellow Army have won on three occasions, while the Marina Machans have won six times. Rest of the six games ended in draws, including the last meeting, which ended in a goalless stalemate.
Man To Watch
Gary Hooper (Kerala Blasters)
Gary Hooper was the only bright spot in a very dark performance against Hyderabad FC last time around. The striker attempted three shots and two were on target. He came closest to finding the back of the net.
Playing in a deeper role than Jordan Murray has helped the striker to get involved in the build-up play. Hooper will look to add to the four goals and assists to help the team secure a victory against CFC.
Lallianzuala Chhangte (Chennaiyin FC)
Lallianzuala Chhangte scored a brace in the game against NorthEast United and looked hungry for more. The winger was a constant nuisance for the defenders thanks to his movement and raw pace. He also won the Hero of the Match award for his performance against the Highlanders.
In a season where CFC have struggled massively to find the back of the net, Chhangte has been a silver-lining. Having scored four goals in the season, the opposition must be wary of the threat Chhangte will pose from the left wing.
Did You Know?
- Chennaiyin FC have scored the least number of goals (16) in the season after 19 games.
- With the sacking of Kibu Vicuna, KBFC have had nine managerial appointments in seven editions of the ISL.
- Interim coach Ishfaq Ahmed has also represented KBFC as a player.
The match between Kerala Blasters FC and Chennaiyin FC is set to be telecast live on Star Sports 1 SD & HD, Star Sports 2 SD & HD (English), Star Sports Hindi 1 SD & HD, Star Sports 3, Star Gold 2 (Hindi), Asianet Plus (Malayalam), and Star Sports regional channels (in Bangla, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Marathi). It will also be streamed live on Disney+ Hotstar VIP and Jio TV.