Defending champions Chennaiyin FC, struggling for form, will be eyeing revenge when they take on ATK in the Indian Super League at the Nehru stadium in Chennai on Sunday.
CFC had lost to ATK 1-2 in the away game and will be eager to get back to level terms.
Chennaiyin have faltered this season after winning the title in 2017-18 and John Gregory’s attempts to find the right formula has been in vain. The usually reliable defence has been a letdown while the forward-line has been strangely off-colour.
With just one win and two draws from nine games for five points, Chennaiyin cannot afford any further slip-ups as the race for the qualification gets tougher.
Head coach John Gregory, who marshalled the resources wonderfully well last year has tried various combinations but not found the right one.
Chennaiyin and Kerala Blasters played out a goalless draw on Thursday at the Nehru stadium with both teams missing opportunities. The Blues will be hoping for course correction and some luck when they take on the Kolkata outfit.
Raphael Augusto, who created a handful of opportunities against the Blasters, will be the key player again while the CFC fans will hope Jeje Lalpheklua regains his scoring touch. Gregory will be betting on Thoi Singh, Issac Vanmalswama and Anirudh Thapa to step up.
ATK are better placed than Chennaiyin, at sixth place with 12 points, and would love to pick up maximum points to improve their position in the qualification race.
Coach Steve Coppell will want his men to exploit Chennaiyin’s failings and score a win, which would put ATK in the top four. The team is coming off two draws (against FC Goa and Mumbai City) and will look to return to winning ways. Coppell’s side have been lackluster when it comes to attacking displays and the forwards will need to get going. With the Chennaiyin FC defence not at its best, this could be the opportunity.