Chennaiyin and NorthEast United aim for all three points to futher their Hero Indian Super League ambitions of a spot in the semi-finals.
Chennaiyin play hosts to NorthEast United in a round nine encounter of the Hero Indian Super League, but their previous clash has seen tempers flaring in and one would expect nothing less on Wednesday, as both teams vie for three points.
NorthEast United FC managed to come out on top with two late goals but the discipline among players and management had gone for a toss, as the referee was forced to dish out ten yellow cards along with a red card. The Hero Indian Super League organisers had to retrospectively fine both the teams for misconduct.
Currently, both Chennaiyin and NorthEast United are level on 10 points and will eye nothing less than a victory to pip defending champions Atletico de Kolkata from the last of the playoff spots. Chennaiyin manager Marco Materazzi, in the pre-match press conference, seemed determined to put up a consistent run till the season ends, as their current form see them dithering in the sixth position.
a Every match is crucial now and can change the standings. We are not very consistent in our wins. May be now is the time. We still have a chance.a
Materazzi admitted that the rain has been a problem in the preparation ahead of the match, but refused to admit that they will be at a disadvantage.
a Rain is actually a problem but ita s a problem for both teams. We have had four days of rest and ita s up to all of us to make the best we can to recover.a
Meanwhile, NorthEast United will look to keep their momentum going with a victory over Chennaiyin, after managing to defeat the defending champions with a goal from their marquee player Simao Sabrosa. Cesar Farias has slowly been finding his feet and expects that the tight nature of the table would work in his favour at the end of the season.
a At the moment, the league table is really tight. Everyone has options to qualify for the semifinals. We started with many away games in the first leg and now we have more home games.a
NorthEast Uniteda s return to winning ways has coincided with the signing of defender Andre Bikey and it will be a great mini duel between him Chennaiyin FCa s star players Stiven Mendoza and Elano Blumer. Farias, despite praising his opponent, prefers not to spill out his tactics in the pre-match press conference.
a Bikey is a good character. He is strong and plays to win. Ita s a pleasure to have him
a We are focusing on our strengths and would be keen to execute our own plans
a Chennaiyin FC is a great team. This league is very even and all teams are equal. You can see that from the results and the points that everyone have. Some players stand out but as a whole they are very organized. They are clear in their idea of the football they want to play,a said Farias.