Chennaiyin FC host ATK in meeting of two teams at opposite end of confidence scale
Written by: K.Koushik Venkatesh
The misfiring ATK face a promising Chennaiyin FC side coming off the back of two successive wins in the league.
Chennaiyin FC hosts ATK in an Indian Super League match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai on Thursday in what looks likely to be a very interesting clash.
It was a stalemate last season both home and away when these two teams met but this time around the circumstances surrounding the clubs are completely different and with new players and new personnel at the helm it could a fascinating game.
CFC coach John Gregory was quick to adapt to new tactics after the initial loss against FC Goa and put together a well-gelled unit on the field and they’ve picked up good back-to-back wins against NorthEast United and the Stallions. They are now comfortably sitting in 2nd place and are tied on points with early league leaders Bengaluru FC. The Marina Machans have majorly improved their midfield and their defense this season. Raphael Augusto who has been a revelation in this campaign so far.
In contrast, ATK, the two-time champions and the current defending champions are sitting at the bottom of the table with just two points. It is quite a worrying sight for this side because The Bengal Tigers were dubbed to be one of the title contenders this season and the current performance does not do justice to that claim. They’ve been abysmal in attack having scored just one goal in three games that they’ve played in this season so far. In these games, ATK have completely dominated possession and in two out of them, they’ve had more shots and shots on target than the opposition. The stats seem to speak a completely different story than what is happening on the pitch. ATK’s only goal this season has come from a free-kick and they are yet to score a goal in open play.
Chennaiyin FC have a good all rounded squad this season and there were worries if they will strike up a good partnership amongst them but they’ve done just that are firing on all cylinders. With two wins on the trot and a possibility of a 3rd in a row, they will look to trounce the misfiring ATK side. Chennaiyin FC have a fully fit squad and will look to play the same starting XI that has given them their last win. Although Jeje is yet to score, his work rate in the previous game was highly appreciated by John Gregory. Raphael Augusto has been the catalyst for this CFC side and they’ll look to him as inspiration for their goals.
ATK have been hit with a lot of injuries. Marquee player Robbie Keane is back in India and started training with the team, if needed he will make his debut against Chennaiyin FC. Midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh is out for the rest of the season and winger Carl Baker is likely sailing in the same boat. Whilst Jayesh Rane is doubtful for the game, Ashutosh Mehta and Anwar Ali have begun training and will most likely be up for selection.
Head to Head
ATK have dominated this fixture in the past. These two teams have played 8 games in total out of which 4 ended as a draw. ATK have won 3 games to Chennaiyin FC’s 1. Although ATK seems to have the upper hand in head to head, the new look Chennaiyin FC will be a very tough side to beat on any given day.
Man to Watch
Raphael Augusto: Chennaiyin FC main man
Raphael Augusto–Chennaiyin FC: The midfielder has been dictating the pace of the match for Chennaiyin FC in the last three games. Even when they did not perform well in their first game against FC Goa, he was a standout player for them. Raphael Augusto has 2 goals in 3 games for Chennaiyin FC and the team has heavily relied on his link-up play. Should he be on top of his game, it will be a difficult task for ATK to stop the Brazilian ace.
Bipin Singh Free kick Goal
Bipin Singh– ATK: Ever since he was brought on to replace Rupert.N in the first match against Kerala Blasters, Bipin Singh has cemented his place in the starting XI. He has scored the only goal for ATK this season and has been putting in really good shifts in their last two matches against FC Pune City and Jamshedpur FC. His form could be worrying for Chennaiyin FC and will have to mark this man closely.
Chennaiyin FC: Karanjit, Jerry, Sereno, Mailson, Inigo, Nelson, Augusto, Ganesh, Bikramjit, Francis and Jeje.
ATK: Jaaskelainen, Keegan, Jordi, Thorpe, Prabir, Thomas, Zequinha, Rupert, Hitesh, Bipin and Robin.
Did You Know
- ATK are still without a win in this edition of the ISL.
- ATK are leading the table currently for the most number of crosses (56) put in by a team.
- Chennaiyin FC have the joint lowest number of shots (25) in the league so far.
The match will be broadcast live on Star Sports 2 and Star Sports 2 HD from 7:45 pm onwards. It will also be available on Hotstar and Jio TV.
Published: Wed Dec 06, 2017 08:46 PM IST