ISL: Bengaluru FC and Chennaiyin FC clash in the fight for sixth place

ISL: Bengaluru FC and Chennaiyin FC clash in the fight for sixth place

The Blues are three points behind sixth place but have played one game more. Meanwhile, Marina Machans are five points off the last playoff spot that Odisha FC currently occupy.

The momentum is with Bengaluru FC in this crucial encounter as they have won their last three Hero ISL matches before this game. Last week, the Blues beat Jamshedpur FC with a 3-0 victory. In their last three games, Bengaluru FC have doubled their goal tally this season, scoring eight goals and conceding just two.

Head coach Simon Grayson will be delighted to see his star striker Roy Krishna regain his form. The Fijian has scored four goals this season, including two in Hero ISL’s last two games for Bengaluru FC.

“It’s a very important game for both teams. The games this weekend and next weekend will be vital and will shape the end of the league. All we can do is try to control this that we can control and that’s the game and our performance,” Grayson said. “We’re going into this game with a lot of confidence after winning three games in a row. We will play with confidence, not with arrogance,” he added.

ISL: Chennaiyin FC on a series of five games without a win

A Chennaiyin FC player during a training session in Bengaluru ahead of their ISL game against Bengaluru. (Twitter/Chennaiyin FC)

Chennaiyin FC’s winless streak in the Hero ISL has been extended to five games after their goalless draw against ATK Mohun Bagan last week. However, the Marina Machans have only lost one of those five games, drawing four in the process. In the reverse match towards the start of the season, the spoils were split after a 1-1 draw.

Petar Sliskovic failed to score for the first time in four games last week. The Croatian is Chennaiyin FC’s top scorer this season with eight goals in 14 games. All of his eight goals have come in seven of Hero ISL’s last ten games.

Head coach Thomas Brdaric hopes to have Abdenasser El Khayati on the bench. The Dutchman has missed the last four games with a hamstring injury but returned to training last week and could be on the bench against Bengaluru FC.

“I’m looking forward to the game against Bengaluru FC. We analyzed the game and showed all the players the approach and how we should play,” said Brdaric. “We don’t know if Nasser [El Khayati] will be part of the squad for this game. We still have two training sessions left and after those sessions we will decide whether we want to include him in the squad or not.”

This will be the 13th Hero ISL meeting between the two rivals. In previous encounters, the Blues have won six matches, while Marina Machans have won three times, including the 2017-18 Hero ISL final.