Defending champions Chennaiyin FC would look to notch up their first win of the season after suffering back-to-back defeats when they take on NorthEast United FC in their Indian Super League match here Thursday.
After an away loss to Bengaluru FC in their campaign opener, Chennaiyin were outclassed by an attack-minded FC Goa at home on October 6.
Chennaiyin head coach John Gregory will be hoping his team improves upon its performance in the first two games.
The forward line of Jeje Lalpekhlua and Carlos Salom have had a disappointing start and have not hit the ground running for their team. Their form will be crucial for the team’s revival, as would be that of other key players like Raphael Augusto and Gregory Nelson.
In the season opener against Bengaluru, Lalpekhlua missed a couple of sitters, which eventually cost Chennaiyin. He needs to start scoring in order to get his team to winning ways.
Gregory may look to ring in some changes in the starting eleven against NEU FC and there is a possibility of Palestinian striker Carlos Salom fitting into the team. He looked sharp after being brought in in the second half in the defeat to Goa.
NorthEast United, under Eelco Schattorie, made a strong start to the tournament. After an exciting 2-2 draw against FC Goa at home, they defeated a strong ATK side in Kolkata.
Rowllin Borges, Federico Gallego and Bartholomew Ogbeche have done well for the team from the north-east.
Nigerian Ogbeche, the former PSG striker, has been good upfront and will look to improve NEU FC’s efficiency in front of goal.
The Croatian duo of Mato Grgic and Mislav Komorski will marshal the defence with Rowllin Borges playing the anchor role in midfield.
In the 2017-18 season, the Highlanders were handed a 3-0 drubbing by Chennaiyin and will be looking to exact revenge with the defending champions not in the best of forms.
NEU FC will go into the match high on confidence while Chennaiyin were in search of some spark to spur their campaign.
The Teams (From):
Chennaiyin FC: Karanjit Singh, Sanjiban Ghosh, Nikhil Bernard, Mailson Alves, Eli Sabia, Inigo Calderon, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Tondonba Singh, Laldinliana Renthlei, Zohmingliana Ralte, Hendry Antonay, Raphael Augusto, Gregory Nelson, Andrea Orlandi, Francisco Fernandes, Thoi Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Germanpreet Singh, Sinivasan Pandiyan, Isaac Vanmalsawma, Bedashwor Singh, Zonunmawia, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Mohammed Rafi, Carlos Antonio Salom.
NorthEast United FC: Gurmeet, Pawan Kumar, TP Rehenesh, Gurwinder Singh, Keegan Pereira, Reagan Singh, Mato Grgic, Mislav Komorski, Pawan Kumar, Provat Lakra, Robert Lalthlamuana, Simrajeet Singh, Federico Gallego, Jose Leudo, Lalrempuia Fanai, Lalthathanga Khawlhring, Nikhil Kadam, Redeem Tiang, Rowllin Borges, Rupert Nongrum, Augustine Okrah, Bartholomew, Girik Khosla, Juan Mascia, Kivi Zhimomi.