Friday , April 19 2024

There will be a battle of supremacy between Kerala Blasters FC and Chennaiyin FC

Chennai, 16 February (HS). The south Indian rivalry of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 will reach its peak when Chennaiyin FC host Kerala Blasters FC at their home ground Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium this evening. Marina Machans will be eager to change their position in the points table, as they are currently one place above last with 12 points from 13 matches. Therefore, the coming nine matches will be very challenging for Chennaiyin FC.

Similarly, Kerala Blasters FC have also lost momentum since resuming after the mid-season break. The Ivan Vukomanovic-coached team has faced defeats in consecutive matches against Odisha FC and Punjab FC. Worried by injuries to their key players, the Kochi side will be keen to return to the top.

The Blasters (26) are five points behind league leaders Odisha FC (31), and have one more match than the Juggernauts (15). Despite the recent defeat, they can close the gap between themselves and Sergio Lobera's side, and will look to build towards that goal with the clash against Chennaiyin FC.

Chennaiyin FC's Scottish head coach Owen Coyle stressed the team's focus on the bigger picture, speaking at Thursday's pre-match conference. “This is a club that saw great success in the first five years, but since then, the season When I came in (2019-20), we did not make it to the playoffs. We still have a great chance to reach the playoffs. “To be competitive and to build is what we are here for.”

Kerala Blasters FC's Serbian head coach Ivan Vukomanovic demanded his players to show greater defensive strength, saying, “We proved in the first half of the season that we can keep clean sheets, even with foreigners in the back-line. Play with or without them. Because, we were winning matches when our players were suspended. It's a matter of mental and character commitment to be able to defend when needed and achieve our goals for the team.”

So far 21 matches have been played between the two teams in ISL, in which both the teams have won 6-6 matches, while 9 matches have been drawn.