Free Press Journal

Chennaiyin seek home win against FC Pune City in ISL


Chennai: Having won just two matches in five games, Chennaiyin FC would look to cash in on the home advantage when they take on FC Pune City in their Indian Super League football match here tomorrow. After losing their opening game at home against defending champions Atletico de Kolkata, Chennaiyin have since then been on the road, winning two of their four matches played away. They lost their previous match against NorthEast United 0-2 in Guwahati and they are now on fifth spot in the league standings with just six points.

FC Pune’s fortunes have been good so far this edition and coach David Platt will look to jump back to the top of the table by winning tomorrow’s match. They have nine points in their kitty, just one short of FC Goa who have played an additional match and are heading the leader board.

Chennaiyin assistant coach Vivek Nagul said they now have a chance to accumulate victories playing at home. “It is not ideal to get six points from five matches. We need more points. We had a long trip and we are aware of the importance of this game. The players had a good rest and they are now ready. We have studied our opponents and know what to do,” said Nagul.

Caoch Marco Materazzi made six changes in the last game against NorthEast United and many of those who did not start in that match are likely to return to the playing eleven tomorrow.”We just wanted to rotate the players and give them some rest. We need to take care of the players. We will be playing this game to get three points,” said Nagul, when asked to explain the absence of star players like Elano Blumer and Stiven Mendoza, both of who have scored seven of the team’s eight goals.

Platt, on his part, said that there were no favourites in the competition and each team had the capability to script a win against any opposition. “Top of the league does not count for a great deal right now because we are still early in the season. I see there is a parity. There are no favourites whether you are playing home or away. There is parity on the pitch. Back-to-back wins and you will be right back in the league,” he said.

Platt also dismissed suggestions that his team would start as second favourites, simply because they were playing an away match. “To me, home or away is not necessarily where you take an advantage. The advantage is in the amount of time you get to recover between games. Anything over three days recovery is fine and there is no issue,” said Platt.