Last Updated: January 21, 2023, 18:35 IST
Chennaiyin FC welcome ATK Mohun Bagan to the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai for Thomas Brdaric’s first home game of the year.
The Marina Arena will be packed for the heavyweight clash against the Kolkata giant as the Indian Super League returns to Chennai shores after nearly 30 days of football for the Marina Machans on the road. (Excerpt)
CFC’s previous home game against Kerala Blasters ended with both the southern teams sharing the spoils in a hard-fought 1-1 draw.
Chennai then toured Mumbai to close out 2022 calendar year before visiting Jamshedpur and Hyderabad earlier this month, where they picked up a point each.
ATK Mohun Bagan come to the capital city of Tamil Nadu after being handed a defeat at home by table toppers Mumbai City FC a week ago.
The Mariners will look to get back to winning ways at the Marina Arena but the home side will take courage from their triumph over Juan Ferrando’s men in their own backyard early in the season as Chennaiyin marched out 2-1 winners at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharathi Krirangan thanks to strikes from Kwame Karikari and Rahim Ali.
The game is crucial for both sides as the race for the top 6 is in full swing with teams in the league separated by mere points.
Chennai will head into the game placed eighth in the league with 16 points from 13 games. A victory will take them on par with seventh-placed Bengaluru FC, having placed a game less than the Karnataka unit.
CFC also have a better goal difference compared to their neighbours.
While the Kolkata giants head into the field perched fourth on the table with 23 points from their 13 games to date. Ferrando’s boys will look to claim a victory and earn a 4-point cushion over closest chasers Odisha FC, who are hot on ATK’s heels with 22 points.
Croatian striker Petar Sliskovic will be crucial to the home side’s chances on the day after having netted in each of the team’s three previous outings. The big man has eight strikes so far this season and is in contention for the golden boot, just one goal behind MCFC’s Jorge Pereyra and East Bengal FC’s Cleiton Silva.
Brdaric has been rotating his squad venturing deep into the league stages and will hope that his side can produce the goods when they get the ball rolling on Saturday.
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