Football

Indian Super League | Chennaiyin FC eyes third spot

Strategic move: Coach Owen Coyle will look to experiment with Chennaiyin’s playing XI, as some of his key players have yellow cards against their name.

Strategic move: Coach Owen Coyle will look to experiment with Chennaiyin’s playing XI, as some of his key players have yellow cards against their name.   | Photo Credit: PrashantNakwe

NEUFC will be keen to give fans something to cheer about

Former champion Chennaiyin FC will look to notch up a win and finish third in the Indian Super League standing when it faces NorthEast United FC here on Tuesday.

Chennaiyin is currently fourth on the table with 28 points, two shy of third-placed Bengaluru FC. A draw or a defeat for Chennaiyin in the final game of the league phase of this ISL would mean it would face topper FC Goa in the play-offs.

A lot would depend on Owen Coyle’s plans and whether he would look to hand an opportunity to his fringe players.

Three yellow cards

Lucian Goian, Rafael Crivellaro and Nerijus Valskis have picked up three yellow cards this season and one more in the final league game would mean that they miss the first leg of the play-offs.

It is highly unlikely that Coyle will take that risk by fielding them on Tuesday.

“First of all, we want to win the game. We have three boys on three yellow cards. It will be really naive to put them on and take a risk.

So those players will be rested. Ultimately, you have to beat the best teams to win. Be it FC Goa or ATK. They are very good teams with perfect coaches. So when that comes, we will think about it. But still, we want to win tomorrow’s game,” said Coyle.

Expect the likes of Rahim Ali, Karanjit Singh, Deepak Tangri and Aimol Reamsochung to be named in the starting XI.

NorthEast United has its own battles to face. It suffered a humiliating 5-1 loss to Hyderabad FC last week and the Highlanders would be desperate to make amends in front of their home supporters and finish their season on a good note.

“This is the last match. Everybody will give their best and we will try to finish on a winning note,” said Coach Khalid Jamil.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 3:42:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/chennaiyin-fc-eyes-third-spot/article30906068.ece

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