Preview: Chennaiyin FC eye momentum against in-form Kerala Blasters

Preview: Chennaiyin FC eye momentum against in-form Kerala Blasters

Both teams are coming on the back of resounding wins in their previous game.

The Marina Arena braces for another feisty Southern Derby when Chennaiyin FC and Kerala Blasters face off in the ISL 2022-23. The two teams are coming into the game in good form. The home team will be buoyed by their momentous 3-7 hammering of NorthEast United while Ivan Vukomanovic’s side saw Bengaluru FC off with a 3-2 win.

The prospect of the derby adds more spice to this contest. Hence, one can expect an exhilarating contest at the Marina Arena on Monday night. Three points will be massive for either side as they will look to continue their upward surge in the league standings.

Let’s take a look at how both teams shape ahead of the enticing derby on Monday.

The Stakes

Chennaiyin FC

Chennaiyin FC have enjoyed a stop-start season so far. They certainly look like a better unit from the previous two seasons and are playing with a good identity under Thomas Brdaric. The Marina Machans will target consistency now and will aim to start a winning run with a triumph at home against the Blasters.

They will take a lot of positives from their huge result against NorthEast United but will be wary of the quality of the opposition they play on Monday. Hence, it is important that they look to start on the front foot. A win won’t take them above the Blasters on the table, but it will provide a huge confidence boost to the side to get one on the rivals. They need to be tight defensively as Chennaiyin FC have let in the second-most number of goals this season.

Kerala Blasters

The Blasters continue to impress with five consecutive wins under their belt. Hence, they arrive as a formidable force and will be the favourites to win the game. The Blasters have quality all over the park and will hope to continue their winning streak.

Ivan Vukomanovic will hope that his midfield continues to dictate terms as they did against Bengaluru FC. The form and cohesion between Adrian Luna, Ivan Kaliuzhnyi and the forwards will be pivotal for them. They will look to exploit the Chennaiyin FC defence that hasn’t enjoyed the best of seasons so far.

Injury & Team News

Chennaiyin FC will have Ajith Kumar back from suspension. However, the good news is that Thomas Brdaric has a fully fit roster ahead of this clash! Ivan Vukomanovic too, will have all of his charges to pick from as he has a fully available squad.

Head-to-Head

Both sides have met 18 times in the league with seven games resulting in draws.

Chennaiyin FC – 6

Kerala Blasters – 5

Drawn – 7

Predicted Line-ups

Chennaiyin FC (4-2-3-1)

Debjit Majumder (GK), Ajith Kumar, Fallou Diagne, Gurmukh Singh, Aakash Sangwan, Prasanth K, Edwin Vanspaul, Nasser El Khayati, Julius Duker, Vincy Barretto, Petar Sliskovic

Kerala Blasters (4-2-3-1)

Prabhsukhan Gill (GK), Sandeep Singh, Hormipam Ruivah, Marko Leskovic, Nishu Kumar, Jeakson Singh, Ivan Kaliuzhnyi, Sahal Abdul Samad, Adrian Luna, Rahul KP, Dimitrios Diamantakos

Player to Watch

Nasser El Khayati (Chennaiyin FC)

Nasser El Khayati taking on Jamshedpur FC’s former defender Peter Hartley. (Courtesy: ISL Media)

The Dutchman has set the league alight with his overall gameplay. He has contributed to 11 goals (seven goals + four assists) in just 318 minutes. That’s a goal contribution every 29 minutes! He is currently the highest goal-scorer in the league as well.

El Khayati is found at the top echelons of almost every offensive stat this season. He has the most shots on target per 90 this season (2.5) and completes the most dribbles per 90 (2.8). Nasser El Khayati also boasts an xG of 0.67 and a combined xG+xA tally of 0.87, an elite figure in the league. Chennaiyin FC will hope that he continues his magical touch and leads the side to victory against a resolute Kerala Blasters.

Ivan Kaliuzhnyi (Kerala Blasters)

Ivan Kaliuzhnyi en route to goal against FC Goa. (Courtesy: ISL Media)

The Ukrainian has been an inspiring presence for Kerala Blasters this season with this overall gameplay. He has already scored four goals in nine games despite playing in deep midfield. His ability to dictate gameplay has been critical to Ivan Vukomanovic’s system. Kaliuzhnyi has also won 19 tackles in the league, the highest in the squad and the second highest in the league.

He will be instrumental in ensuring that Chennaiyin FC’s midfield trio don’t dictate terms. He will look to put the midfield and defence on the backfoot and cut away any service to the in-form Chennaiyin FC forwards.

Related News |ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW

Did You Know?

Kerala Blasters’ Marko Leskovic has made the most interceptions in the league with 21.

Chennaiyin FC’s Aakash Sangwan has won 68% of the duels (aerial and ground) this season, the most among players involved in at least 50 duels.

Kwame Karikari’s xG (expected goals) of 0.94 per 90 is the highest in the league this season.

Telecast

The kick-off time for the Chennaiyin FC vs Kerala Blasters game is 7:30 pm IST on 19th December (Monday). The match will be played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai, also called the Marina 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