Chennai: On a high after couple of wins, Chennaiyin FC will aim to gather full points and move a step closer to semi-finals when they take on low-in-confidence Mumbai City FC in their last home match in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Tuesday.
The hosts are currently placed in the fifth spot with 16 points from 12 games, having won five, drawn one and lost six.
On the other hand, after a couple of poor results in the previous matches, visitors Mumbai are all but out of semis berth. They are currently in the seventh spot with 13 points from 12 games, having three wins, four draws and five losses.
Chennaiyin, who dispatched Kerala Blasters FC (4-1) and Delhi Dynamos FC (4-0) in their last two matches, will take a giant step forward towards the semis if they beat Mumbai men on Tuesday.
Bernard Mendy’s dominant presence at the back will be key if Chennaiyin are to maintain their late surge to enter the top four.
The veteran defender is also a threat in the opponent’s penalty area having already scored in the tournament. Striker Stiven Mendoza has been in spectacular form this season, being the tournament’s top-scorer with 10 goals.
“I said after the Kolkata game (which Chennaiyin FC lost 1-2), everything depended on us. Our guys did well in creating chances (after winning against Kerala and Delhi). And now that they’ve learned a lesson, they’ll go for the third chance tomorrow. In the end, it’s all up to the players. I can help them on the outside but on the field, it’s all them,” coach Marco Materazzi told reporters here on Monday.
On the other hand, Mumbai will be pinning their hopes on the shoulders of India skipper Sunil Chhetri who also happens to be the leading scorer (6 goals) for Mumbai this season.
“Mathematically, we still have a chance to qualify, so we’ll be playing to win the game. We need to play our best, the players need to believe in themselves,” Anelka said.
Mumbai City have never beaten Chennaiyin in ISL. They lost 1-5 and 0-3 against their opponent last year and also lost 0-2 at the D.Y. Patil Stadium earlier this season.
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