Buoyant Pune host revitalised Chennai in Sunday appetizer
Written by: Sabin Castelino
The Stallions seek to extend their winning run but the visitors too are coming in on the back of a morale-boosting success.
Chennaiyin FC will be visiting the Balewadi Stadium, the bastion of FC Pune City and will look to upset the hosts in an Indian Super League (ISL) match on Sunday. Both teams lost their first home games of the season in close encounters, but since have bounced back with convincing victories.
Ranko Popovic is very much like Alex Ferguson was in his hay days. He claims that he needs only one goal more than his opposition to win the game but ends up scoring more than that. His team has shown cohesion as well as character to bounce back from the unexpected injury to Jewel Raja as well as a tough defeat at the hands of the Dynamos.
Chennaiyin too have had a very similar start to life under John Gregory where they lost to FC Goa in a game which ended 2-3 in favour of the opposition and came fighting back to win the game against the NorthEast United, obliterating them in a 3-0 win.
The game is not only going to be a battle for three points but is likely to be a free scoring affair with both teams much advanced in their attacks and slightly weaker in the defensive third. Although, during the match, if one of the defences were to click at the right time, the other would have to leave the stadium with their tails between their legs.
One thing that is guaranteed though is that we are going to see goals in the match as only one of their previous six encounters have ended with less than two goals in the game. So, we can truly expect high stakes roll out with the winner challenging for the top spot on the league table.
Both teams look to be set and have bonded well with each other which has translated to their wins in their recent games. Although, one stark contrast can be observed in that while Pune’s attack seems to be focused on a team of attackers, Chennaiyin FC have heavily relied on the Brazilian without shin pads, Raphael Augusto for the goals.
Pune although have one injury in the form of Jewel Raja. However, they have been well compensated with the help of their mystery all-rounder, Baljit Sahni, who seems to be a striker who can play in all the positions on the pitch. Chennaiyin, on the other hand, are going into to the game with no injury concerns and will look to use their squad depth against the Maharashtrian side.
Pune and Chennaiyin both have started with four at the back with high pressing full-backs and a single striker up front in the form of Emiliano Alfaro and Jeje Lalpekhlua in their previous games and look set to do the same tomorrow. While Lewis may be given more playing time on the wings of the potent Pune attack. Chennaiyin will look to start with the same XI to retain the winning formula.
Chennaiyin are clearly the better team if you look at past records. They have won four out of the six games against Pune and have drawn two. If only the three games at the Balewadi were to be considered, the Stallions have only managed two draws and one defeat.
FC Pune City Vs Mumbai City ISL Moments
Man to Watch
Rohit Kumar-FC Pune City: Midfielder Rohit Kumar has been in good form for the Stallions in the and his blistering pace and flair has been a blessing to Pune. The midfielder was one of the standout players for the Stallions against ATK and Mumbai. He is fast emerging as one of the brightest young talents in the league this season. He will once again be out to impress against the team from Tamil Nadu.
Raphael Augusto-Chennaiyin FC: Augusto has been the main man for the Chennai based outfit and will look to inspire his team in the form he is in. The whole team seems to rely on the Brazilian’s class and charisma going forward and he will surely look to dent the Stallions’ hopeS with his prowess.
Chennaiyin FC Vs NorthEast United FC ISL Moments
Did You Know?
The match will be broadcast live on Star Sports 2 and Stars Sports 2 HD 5.30 pm onwards. It will be also available for live streaming on Hotstar and Jio TV.
Published: Sun Dec 03, 2017 02:16 AM IST