Former teammates Materazzi and Zambrotta will meet on the sidelines….
Chennaiyin FC lock horns with Delhi Dynamos at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the first home game of their title defending Indian Super League campaign on Thursday night.
Coming off a title-winning season, the Super Machans will look to emulate their last season’s laurels, with manager Marco Materazzi being ever so confident and determined. However, they have gotten off to a stuttering start, drawing their ISL 2016 opener with Atletico de Kolkata after being outplayed by Sameegh Doutia-inspired Kolkata.
Dynamos, on the other hand, are coming off a decent pre-season campaign that included a game against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns. Playing four games – and winning two – in September, Gianluca Zambrotta’s men should have meshed superbly to face the nascent ISL season as a unit.
Dhanachandra Singh, who missed the opening game through injury, still remains sidelined. His understudies in Nallapan Mohanraj and Jerry Lalrinzuala both struggled against the Tigers, and it remains to be seen who gets the nod. Daniel Lalhlimpuia is not available for selection thanks to his Bengaluru duties.
The visitors have no injury concerns, but Bengaluru FC loanees Alwyn George and Malswamzuala have missed the Chennai trip thanks to the AFC Cup commitments with their parent club. The duo will join the Dynamos camp on October 20 in the event of Bengaluru losing to Johor Darul Ta’zim in the AFC Cup semi-finals.
Chennaiyin and Dynamos have met on four occasions, with the former emerging victors on one and ending up the losing side on two. However, with the hosts winning their last four home games, they will hope to nullify their disadvantage in the head-to-head record on Thursday night.
The meetings between these sides have averaged 3.5 goals per match, and the Marina Arena faithful may as well witness a goal galore, accordingly.
Men to watch
Chennaiyin: Jayesh Rane
The Mumbai-born through-and-through Machan has picked up where he left off last season, scoring Chennaiyin’s first goal at Rabindra Sarobar Stadium. However, as left back has proved a position of liability, the Indian left-winger ought to be defensively astute as well.
With the Dynamos defenders drilled by their World Cup winning coach, he needs to put in a shift.
Delhi Dynamos: Florent Malouda
Dynamos have chosen to retain the services of Florent Malouda, whose versatility and wizardry was pivotal to their campaign last season; he notched up eight assists last season. The Dynamos coach stressed upon the importance of the Champions League winner in the pre-match press conference. Should he find the rhythm, the home side will be forced to wait longer for their first win of the season.
Chennaiyin FC: Kerr — Mohanraj, Riise, Mendy, Wadoo — Rane, Augusto, Mulder, Sahni — Succi, Jeje
Delhi Dynamos: Santana — Addy, Edathodika, Rocha, Chakraborty — Pelissari, Denson Devdas, Milan Singh, Malouda — Gadze, Pereira
The match will be telecast live on Star Sports 2, Star Sports HD2, Star Sports 1, Star Sports HD1, Star Gold, Star Gold HD, Jalsha Movies, Jalsha Movies HD, and Hotstar.
You can also follow live text commentary of the game on Khel Now.
Match Preview by Khel Now Correspondent from Chennai Praveen Paramasivan.