HomeFootballChennai vs Bengal, Indian Football League 2020-21, Match Preview 

Chennai vs Bengal, Indian Football League 2020-21, Match Preview 

Bengal will lock horns against Chennai to extend the unbeaten streak up to seven matches. Meanwhile, two-times winner Chennai will look for the playoffs spot. 

Match Timings: Jan 18, 7:30 PM IST 

Team Preview 

Chennai and Bengal meet in the first clash of this week. Both sides are in the position where they can set the goal for the playoffs. The first two positions look stable with Mumbai and Mohun B. Bengal has reformed its unit, and after a poor start to the season, Gold and Reds have avoided defeats in six successive games. The draw didn’t help them in the table, but they maintained their unbeaten streak. After an entertaining first half, both sides went goalless. Jordan Murray broke the deadlock of Bengal in the 64th minute to provide an early lead for Kerala. Scott Neville equalised for the Kolkata giants to hold Kerala for a 1-1 draw. Bright Enobakhare came in January, and he scored against Odisha and Goa but didn’t manage to score in the next two matches. He didn’t get enough support from other midfielders. Debjit Majumder has been pretty consistent, and he made two fine saves in the last game. Rana Gharami, Scott Neville, and Daniel Fox made 22 clearances and blocked six shots, including the five crosses from Narayan Das. 

The new signings in January also helped them to step up further in the table. They occupy the spot in the bottom three, but now, they can aim for the 6th spot if Bengal grabs three points. In last week’s fixture, they settled for a draw with Kerala, and Fowler looks confident of turning around the things in the second half of the tournament. Considering if they earn three points here, they will be 2-points behind the playoff spot. 

Meanwhile, Chennai are coming off a 2-1 victory against Odisha after playing a draw with the same opponent in the first leg clash. Injuries are not a big concern for them, and after the comeback of Anirudh Thapa, Chennai have improved in the game. With 14 points in 11 games, Chennai has a good chance to crack the playoff spot, and they require one more win. The Two-times tournament winner has done it previously, but it needs to be consistent. The crucial victory against Odisha in Bambolim helped the Marina Machans take the fifth spot in the table. Esmael Goncalves provided the early lead by scoring a brace in the first 21 minutes. The first half advantage didn’t trouble Chennai to grab three points. Diego Mauricio scored for Odisha in the 63rd minute, but in the final third, Chennai maintained its defense to avoid an equaliser. 

The back four of Reagan Singh, Eli Sabia, Enes Sipovic, and Jerry Lalrinzuala put a decent show, and it assured a dominant performance in the first half. They didn’t allow Odisha to register a single shot on target from inside the box. As the center-backs, Sabia and Sipovic made 10 clearances, and its full-backs Reagan and Jerry made 3 tackles each. It was a collective performance from the side. Both sides locked horns this season in a first-leg clash, and they were settled for a 2-2 draw. Matti Steinmann scored a brace for the Bengal, and the duo Chhangte and Rahim Ali scored for Chennai. 

Possible Lineups & Current Form 


Vishal Kaith; Reagan Singh, Eli Sabia, Enes Sipovic, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Meme Moura, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev, Rahim Ali, Anirudh Thapa, Esmael Goncalves

Current form: W D L D D 

Previous match: 2-1 victory against Odisha 


Debjit Majumder; Narayan Das, Danny Fox (C), Scott Neville, Rana Gharami, Narayan Das, Ankit Mukherjee, Matti Steinmann, Jacques Maghoma, Anthony Pilkington, Bright Enobakhare

Current form: D W D W D 

Previous match: 1-1 draw with Kerala 

Key Players 


Esmael Goncalves

3 goals & 1 assist in Indian Football League 2020-21 

Rahim Ali 

2 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21 


Jacques Maghoma

3 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21 

Matti Steinmann 

3 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21


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