Preview: Chennaiyin FC aim to halt Mumbai City’s unbeaten run

Preview: Chennaiyin FC aim to halt Mumbai City’s unbeaten run

The last time the two sides met, eight goals were scored.

Mumbai City will square off against Chennaiyin FC at the Mumbai Football Arena (MFA) on Saturday for their 11th match of the ongoing ISL 2022-23 season. The Islanders thrashed East Bengal 3-0 in the previous fixture whereas the Marina Machans played out a 1-1 draw against the Kerala Blasters on Monday.

Halfway into the season, Des Buckingham’s men are still unbeaten and have garnered 24 points with seven victories and three draws in 10 encounters. Chennaiyin are placed seventh and have a fair work to do in the second half of the season to bridge the five-point gap between them and Odisha to break into the coveted top-six spots.

Here is a detailed preview of this match.

The Stakes

Mumbai City

Mumbai have been relentless in their pursuit of regaining their hands on the ISL title so far. They have looked flawless and a class apart from the rest of the teams. At this stage, the side just needs to be wary of not letting complacency creep into the setup.

They have to be as persistent with their efforts as they have been so far, ensuring that they outclass the oppositions and continue bagging three points regardless of any related circumstances. More than anything, they seriously seem to have a chance of remaining unbeaten throughout the campaign. So why let the guard down anytime soon?

Chennaiyin FC

Chennaiyin have shown glimpses of their potential, but inconsistency has marred their campaign until now. They absolutely hammered NorthEast United 7-3 before being held to a 1-1 draw against the Blasters recently. They side certainly has the talent in its ranks to produce the goods in a flamboyant fashion but the coach must ensure that this potential doesn’t remain unfulfilled in the remaining half of the season.

Chennai need to buckle up and produce the goods in a consistent basis to make their way into the playoffs spots and they should embark on that objective right from this critical away fixture.

Injury & Team News

Mumbai City will miss out on the services of Amey Ranawade who has suffered a long-term injury. Chennaiyin FC meanwhile, will miss their star performer Nasser El Khayati, who is out injured.

Head-to-Head

Mumbai City and Chennaiyin FC have met each other 17 times in the ISL.

Played – 17

Mumbai City – 8

Chennaiyin FC – 6

Drawn – 3

Predicted Line-Ups

Mumbai City (4-2-3-1)

Phurba Lachenpa (GK), Rahul Bheke, Rostyn Griffiths, Mehtab Singh, Mandar Rao Dessai, Lalengmawia Ralte, Ahmed Jahouh, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Greg Stewart, Bipin Singh, Jorge Pereyra Diaz.

Chennaiyin FC (4-3-3)

Debjit Majumder (GK), Ajith Kumar, Fallou Diagne, Vafa Hakhamaneshi, Aakash Sangwan, Julius Duker, Anirudh Thapa, Edwin Vanspaul, Prasanth K, Petar Sliskovic, Vincy Barretto.

Player To Watch

Lallianzuala Chhangte (Mumbai City)

Lallianzuala Chhangte (Courtesy: ISL Media)

Chhangte has come up as one of the most refined, improved Indian stars in the ISL this year. He has scored four goals and notched an assist in 10 games so far. The winger has been extremely efficient, creating regular goal-scoring chances and taking thumping shots at goal frequently.

He will have a point to prove when he faces off against his ex-employers in Mumbai’s home turf on Saturday. He adds a threatening element to Mumbai’s attacks from the flank and the 25-year-old will thus look to boost up his goal-scoring numbers in this half of the campaign.

Petar Sliskovic (Chennaiyin FC)

Petar Sliskovic (Courtesy: ISL Media)

The Croatian has been scoring goals for Chennaiyin FC. He has already netted five and assisted thrice in the first half of the league. In the absence of Nasser El Khayati, the baton will be in the hands of Petar Sliskovic, who will want to ensure three important points for his side against the Islanders.

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Did You Know?

El Khayati is leading the Golden Boot race (seven goals) currently, despite playing significantly fewer minutes that the rest of the attackers in the league.

Mumbai (30) and Chennai (20) are the top-two goal-scoring sides in the ISL 2022-23.

In ISL 2022-23, Greg Stewart has taken the most shots on target (21), but has only three goals to show for it so far.

Telecast

The kick-off time for the Mumbai City vs Chennaiyin FC game is at 5:30 pm IST on 24th December (Saturday). The match will be played at the Mumbai Football Arena. The game will be telecasted live on the Star Sports Network. Disney+Hotstar and JioTV will also stream the match.

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Source

Sports