Chennai vs Mohun B., Indian Football League 2020-21, Match Preview

Mohun B. will face Chennai in the Tuesday encounter of the Indian Football League to take the top spot back from Mumbai. Habas’ men sit at the second spot with 16 points, and Chennai takes the seventh spot with 9 points. 

Match Timings: Dec 29, 7:30 PM IST 

Team Preview 

The Mariners has the best opportunity to upstage Sergio Lobero’s side from the top spot when they take on Chennai in GMC Stadium. Habas’ men defeated Bengaluru in the previous outing to earn the fifth victory of the season and equalise Mumbai with 16 points. Sandesh Jhingan and Co. kept the defense tight and conceded only three goals this season. They have been potentially a good side in defense, and it’s the biggest obstacle for the opponents. 

In last week, they handed Bengaluru the first defeat of the season and scored for the first time in the first half. David Williams sent the ball past Gurpreet through a good pass from Carl Mchugh to give Mariners an early lead in the 33rd-minute. This one goal made the whole difference, and Bengaluru didn’t get the equaliser. Mariners kept the fifth clean sheet, and their rock-like defense should get the credits. The players like Pritam Kotal, Sandesh Jhinghan, Tiri, and Subhasish Bose put on an excellent show to hold the opponent’s attack. Tiri cleared all the long balls and crosses with ease against Bengaluru, and Subhasish Bose stopped Bengaluru’s forward-line to overcome them. David Williams has recovered from the injury, and he will be available for this match. Antonio Habas will go ahead with the strongest lineup in this game. David Williams and Manvir Singh started for Mariners, and Habas’ approach worked with the first time goal in the first half. 

Meanwhile, Chennai got their team combination tight after the inclusion of Anirudh Thapa. After breaking the winless streak against Goa, they settled for a point against East Bengal. Chennai started the game higher by creating so many opportunities in the first half. Lallianzuala Chhangte scored the first goal as Jakub Sylvestr set up a delicate flick to give good space to Chhangte. Chennai dominated the possession, and luck also favoured as Mohammed Rafique missed a sitter before the first half break. 

The second half went to East Bengal and the poor intent of Chennai in the final minutes of the first half helped Gold and Reds to equalise in the 59th minute. Steinmann struck through a header, courtesy of a superb corner-kick from Bikash Jairu. Chennai retook the lead with Rahim Ali’s goal after five minutes, and Bengal didn’t wait much as Steinmann completed his brace with a 68th-minute equaliser. There were still plenty of opportunities for Chennai, but they missed out on the chances. The Marina Machans were guilty of poor finishing in the end. Csaba Laszlo's side had 17 chances on goal in the second half and managed to have just 5 shots on target. Their strikers didn’t hit a single header on target. Ismael Goncalves and Isma will be back on the team. Reagan Singh will also return to action after serving the suspension.

Possible Lineups & Current Form 

Chennai 

Vishal Kaith, Reagan Singh, Eli Sabia, Enes Sipovic, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Deepak Tangri, Anirudh Thapa, Isma, Rafael Crivellaro, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Rahim Ali

Current form: D W D L L 

Previous match: 2-2 draw with East Bengal 

Mohun B. 

Arindam Bhattacharjee, Prabir Das, Pritam Kotal, Tiri, Sandesh Jhingan, Subhasish Bose, Carl McHugh, Edu Garcia, Manvir Singh, Roy Krishna, David Williams

Current form: W W D L W 

Previous match: 1-0 victory over Bengaluru 

Key Players 

Chennai 

Jakub Sylvestr 

1 goal & 2 assists in Indian Football League 2020-21 

Rahim Ali

2 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21 

Mohun B. 

Roy Krishna 

5 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21 

Manvir Singh 

2 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21