Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai
1 December 2015
The Ranbir Kapoor-owned Mumbai City FC make a trip south to face Chennaiyin FC in hopes of keeping their ambition of a semi-final berth alive. Meanwhile the Abhishek Bachhan-owned Chennaiyin will look to pip NorthEast United FC to the fourth spot after the Highlanders lost to Delhi Dynamos on Saturday. Chennaiyin FC, who have won their previous two matches, come into this game as favourites against a struggling Mumbai City FC who are winless in their last six match.
Team News and Tactical Brief
Chennaiyin FC seems to have returned to form in their last two matches, netting four goals against both their opponents, but strangely it has been in the absence of their marquee player Elano, who has struggled this season. Manager Marco Materazzi will have a hard time in deciding whether to continue with an unchanged lineup against Mumbai City FC or to accommodate their marquee player in the lineup.
The Super Machans are expected to continue with the Apoula Edel as their goalkeeper along with an all foreign centre-back pairing. Bernard Mendy and Mailson are likely to be told to guard the defense and will be flanked by Dhanachandra Singh and Mehrajuddin Wadoo as fullbacks.
Don fix it unless its broken, they say, and the same seems to apply to the Super Machans midfield. Raphel Augusto has been excellent for them and is expected to lead the midfield with Harmanjot Khabra and Thoi Singh providing ample support. The forward line too is expected to remain unchanged, with the Materazzi keeping an eye on the semi-finals, where he would want a refreshed Elano. Bruno Pelissari and Jeje Lalpekhlua will be providing support to Stiven Mendoza who has already scored 10 goals in the season.
Probable Starting XI (4-3-3): Edel; Wadoo, Mailson, Mendy, Dhana; Thoi, Augusto, Khabra; Pelissari; Mendoza, Jeje.
Mumbai City FC
Mumbai City manager Nicolas Anelka confirmed that he wouldna t playing, so one can expect that the team that drew against Kerala Blasters in their previous match wona t see many changes.
Goalkeeper Subrata Paul who had injured himself in the previous match hasna t been able to recover fully and the duty is expected to fall on the young shoulders of Debjit Majumder.
Majunder, an able deputy, should do okay in the absence of the India international and will have the foreign pairing of Franz Bertin and Pavel Cmovs in front of him. Ashutosh Mehta and Lalchhuanmawia Fanai are expected to flank the two foreign centre backs.
The five-man midfield will consist of Juan Aguilera and Cristian Bustos as the holding midfielders, while Sony Norde, Sunil Chhetri and Subash Singh will form the attacking trident behind Frederic Piquionne.
Probable Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Debjit; Mehta, Cmovs, Bertin, Fanai; Aguilera, Bustos; Norde, Chhetri, Subash; Piquionne.
Chennaiyin FC 2- 0 Mumbai City FC
Chennaiyin FC are the inform side and will look to brighten their prospects for a berth in the semis, and with Mumbai City FC manager Nicolas Anelka already conceding defeat it will all depend on the determination of the players to see through the challenge posed by the visitors.
Image Courtesy: ISL Media