After a comfortable 2-0 win over Nepal League side Manang Marshyangdi, Chennaiyin FC will look to round up their last home fixture of the group stage with a win as well when they face Bangladesh Football Premier League side Abahani Dhaka in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.
With Christopher Herd and Mailson Alves finding the back of the net last time around against Manang, Chennaiyin FC are high on confidence. Having drawn 0-0 with Minerva Punjab, Chennaiyin bounced back in the next game to kick-start their campaign.
They have lost just once in their last five competitive games. Chennaiyin will look to inch closer to their qualification to the next stage with a win over the four-time Bangladesh League Champions.
Abahani Dhaka, who have several former players from the Indian Leagues in their ranks, are a dangerous side. They drew 2-2 against Minerva Punjab at home, after beating Manang Marshyangdi away, 1-0. A win for Dhaka, as well, will put them atop the South Asian Group.
Chennaiyin FC vs Abahani Dhaka: Match Information
Date: 30 April 2019
Kickoff: 7:30 PM IST
Live Stream: No official stream/telecast in India. Third party streams during the game will be available.
Venue: The Arena by Transstadia, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
Chennaiyin FC Head Coach John Gregory has confirmed in the Pre-Match Press Conference that Brazilian midfielder Raphael Augusto will again miss the game, courtesy his knee injury. The absence of Augusto hands more responsibility o the striking trio of Jeje Lalpekhlua, CK Vineeth and Mohammed Rafi.
Karanjeet Singh, Renthlei, Mailson Alves, Eli Sabia, Tondonba Singh, Christ Herd, Thoi Singh, Raphael Augusto, Holicharan Narzary, CK Vineeth, Jeje Lalpekhlua
(D-W-W-L-W) : After a disastrous ISL Campaign, Chennaiyin have bounced back and how! Finishing runners up in the Super Cup and now sitting atop the AFC Cup Table, the Blues are in some fine form.
The return of Dhanpal Ganesh after a long sit-out courtesy an injury has added a defensive impetus in the midfield, allowing the back four, led by Mailson Alves and Eli Sabia, to do their job without having to move forward.
Christopher Herd has shown good utility skills by doing the sweeping work across the field. He even managed to score in thei rlast AFC Cup game. He has been defending when needed and also building-up play from the middle of the park. His performance on Tuesday will be crucial to Chennaiyin's chances against Manang Marshyangdi.
With the absence of Raphael Augusto, the onus will be on strikers CK Vineeth and Jeje Lalpekhlua to gel well and fill the gap that the Brazilian would be leaving.
Abahani Dhaka have been by-far the best team in Bangladesh for at least the last three years. They wrapped up the Bangladeshi League in 2017 and 2018. Adding to their league success, they also have won the last three editions of the Federation Cup.
Sitting second in the 13-team Bangladeshi League behind Basundhara Kings, the Mario Lemos-helmed side is in very good form. They are unbeaten in 5 straight games, including both the AFC Cup and the Bangladesh Premier League.
There will be quite a few deja vu moments for several of Abahani Dhaka players when they take the field on Tuesday in Ahmedabad again as several former I-League and ISL stars would be returning to India after a gap.
Former Jamshedpur and Kerala Blasters marksman Kervens Belfort, Aizawl FC defender Masi Saighani, Former NorthEast United and Jamshedpur FC winger Wellington Priori will be locking horns with an Indian side again.
The Abahani Head Coach Mario Lemos declared in the pre-match Press Conference that striker Sunday Chizoba could not travel to India due to visa complications. However, the forward did manage to procure his visa and will arrive on matchday. The Bangladeshi side will, howeve miss the services of their centre-backs Tapu Barman and Tutul Badsha.
Did you know?
Interestingly, Chennaiyin FC Assistant Coach Syed Sabir Pasha has played for Abahani in the past. The former India international featured for the Bangladesh giants in the 1999 and 2000 seasons.
Chennaiyin FC should manage a win over the Dhaka based side. Abahani does have the goods to defeat the Indian side but given Chennaiyin's recent form, they should emerge the victorious side on Tuesday.
Predicted Score: Chennaiyin FC 2-1 Dhaka AbahaniPublished 29 Apr 2019, 21:13 IST