At half way stage of the inaugural season of Hero Indian Super League, it is imperative for all the teams to deliver the goods and keep improving for the remainder of the season. It comes as no surprise, as the Chennaiyin FC gaffer Materazzi tags this match as a final. A win for either Chennaiyin FC or hosts FC Pune City will shoot them in the pole position heading into the second leg. As a result the match at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex is expected to be electric and competitive to say the least. Let’s try and analyze the factors that may come in play during tonight’s game:
Form leading into the game
Chennaiyin FC is on the second spot as they head into this game, on the back of a consecutive draws against Atletico De Kolkata and North East United FC. On the other hand hosts FC Pune City have definitely put their sluggish start behind them with their recent form, including the shock victory against table toppers Atletico De Kolkata.
FC Pune’s City Defense Vs Elano and Co.
Elano Blumer has been the standout performer for the south based club. The manager of Chennaiyin FC holds the opinion that his team is not a one man show, but as the team is playing around the Brazilian it will be interesting to see how his effectiveness is marginalized by the Italian Franco Colomba. Moreover in the last match for FC Pune City goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya was unsure about his positioning and collection and this could prove costly with Jeje Lalpekhlua, Elano and rest looking to pounce on any possible slip-ups.
Can Chennaiyin FC keep a clean sheet?
Although Chennaiyin FC sits at the second position, they have been unable to keep a clean sheet till date in the Indian Super League. They have scored more than they have conceded, however the goal allowed tally is highest in the league, and the Chennaiyin FC gaffer will try and ensure that his team can keep a clean sheet against FC Pune City.
Squad at disposal
Chennaiyin FC has a fully fit squad and raring to go all out in the match, entering the finals stages of the tournament with a fully fit squad is a job well done by the team management at the club. On the other hand there is a major injury worry for FC Pune City with the absence of Dutch midfielder John Goossens, however they now have Former Arsenal and Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant at their disposal and his addition is expected to add a lot of creativity and telling crosses from the wings.
With the home advantage and recent victories, FC Pune City head into the final match of the first leg of Hero ISL as slight favorites. With Franco Colamba in the dugout, the Italian tactician will like to make it three clean sheets out of four home matches for FC Pune City; however the magical Elano from Chennaiyin FC might have other plans.
Image Source: Indian Super League Official Website