It’ll be the battle of table toppers when Atletico de Kolkata face Chennaiyin FC tonight in the Indian Super League game at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai. Atletico de Kolkata has eleven points from five matches and Chennaiyin FC has nine points from four, meaning if Chennai win they will climb to the number one spot. Atletico deKolkata has been very consistent in the league so far with their performances and are the only unbeaten team in the ISL. While Chennai is also high on confidence after their 5-1 win over Mumbai City. So this match has the potential to become one of the best matches of the ISL.
Chennaiyin FC have won all their three matches at home so far and will be very keen to get the better of the tournament’s top team on the home turf. Chennai will be missing the services of defenders Abhishek Das and Jairo Suarez due to injury, Dhanachandra Singh and Gouramangi will be replacing them. Goalkeeper Gennaro Bracigliano, who missed the previous game against Mumbai City FC is set to come back into the playing XI. And Player-manager Marco Materazzi too, might be tempted to take the field yet again to compete against the likes of Luis Garcia, Borja Fernandez. Elano Blumer has been in superb form so far, he is currently the top scorer of the ISL with 5 goals, and assisting a few.
Atletico de Kolkata is coming off eight days of rest after their last 1-1 draw with Kerala Blasters on Oct 26. Captain Luis Garcia is expected to be back into the squad against Chennaiyin FC as he has recovered his hamstring injury and left back Biswajit Saha has also recovered from his head injury. Luis Garcia has missed the last two matches for the Kolkata where they picked four points out of a possible six. Kolkata will miss the services of in-form Ethiopian striker Fikru Teferra as he had been handed out a two-match suspension by AIFF.
Chennaiyin FC Manager Marco Materazzi said this when asked about the game plan against Kolkata.
“We are like Cinderella. We are in Chennai and every day rain. We did not have the pitch to train and the ground now. You saw the last game when we put our heart in the pitch. We wanted to win against Mumbai. If we show the same attitude on the pitch tomorrow and then we have to win. To me and my guys the positive result is very important,”
“We try to play like how we played against Mumbai FC. Without doubt Kolkata is a very good team. We have a bigger opportunity to close the gap. Then after the game we will speak about the result you want.“
Atletico de Kolkata captain Luis Garcia is hopeful that his team will win. He said
“My prediction is that hopefully we win. Chennaiyin is a very good team and every player is performing well. They have good midfield, good defence. The players have the quality. We also heard that the pitch is not very good and it is very hard. So, we know how hard it is to play here. Hopefully tomorrow is good for us and we will win,“
“I always say when a bad situation like this, weather or the ground is always for both the teams and we cannot make excuses. We knew that it is not going to be the best conditions but we have to adapt very fast and try to do our work successfully.“
Chennaiyin FC – WWLW
Atletico de Kolkata – WWDWD
Atletico de Kolkata Probable Starting XI:
Subhasish Roy Choudhury, Arnab Mondal, Kingshuk Debnath, Josemi, Biswajit Saha, Borja Fernandez, Ofentse Nato , Cavin Lobo, Luis Garcia, Baljit Sahni, Arnal Libert.
Chennaiyin FC Probable Starting XI:
Shilton Paul, Marco Materazzi, Bernard Mendy, Dhanachandra Singh, Mikel Silvestre, Denson Devadas, Elano Blumer, Harmanjot Khabra, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Stiven Mendoza, Balwant Singh.
Chennaiyin FC 2 – 1 Atletico de Kolkata
Picture Courtesy: Indian Super League