After a goalless draw with Minerva Punjab in their debut AFC Cup Group-stage encounter, Chennaiyin FC would look for three points when they face Nepal National League side Manang Marshyangdi in the second Group-stage game in the AFC Cup on Wednesday.
Chennaiyin FC have been in good form after a horrendous Indian Super League campaign. They were unbeaten for six straight games till the Hero Super Cup final against FC Goa where they succumbed to a well-fought 2-1 loss.
The Blues created a horde lot of chances in their game against FC Goa, but failed to find the back of the net barring once.
Manang Marshyangdi, making their debut in the AFC Cup will look for their first points on board after their 0-1 loss to Dhaka Abahani in Kathmandu.
Chennaiyin FC vs Manang Marshyangdi : Match Information
Date: 17 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
All players are fit for the game. Jerry Lalrinzuala's return in the previous game has added strength to their defensive line. It would be interesting to see if the manager leaves out Jeje again on the bench. CK Vineeth has fit in the line-up and is not expected to be benched anytime soon.
Karanjeet Singh, Renthlei, Mailson Alves, Eli Sabia, Tondonba Singh, Christ Herd, Thoi Singh, Raphael Augusto, Holicharan Narzary, CK Vineeth, Jeje Lalpekhlua
(W-D-W-W-L) : They began their Super Cup campaign with a 2-0 win over Mumbai City FC before drawing with Minerva Punjab in the AFC Cup.
The Blues continued their Cup run with 2-1 and 2-0 wins over NorthEast United and ATK respectively before falling to a 2-1 defeat to FC Goa in the Cup Final.
The return of Dhanpal Ganesh after a long sit-out courtesy an injury have 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.
New addition CK Vineeth has also started firing while Anirudh Thapa is presently in good form. Both of them have found the net twice in as many as four Super Cup games.
Christopher Herd has shown good utility skills by doing the sweeping work across the field. He has been defending when needed and also building-up play from the middle of the park. His performance on Wednesday will be crucial to Chennaiyin's chances against Manang Marshyangdi.
Hailing from the Kathmandu based Martyr's Memorial A-Division League, Manang Marshyangdi have come a long way since the 2015 Nepal Earthquake. They have been winning several domestic titles and even have played International Invitational Tournaments to keep their players busy.
The Nepalese side, recently visited India to feature in the All India Sikkim Governor's Gold Cup where they went all the way to clinch the coveted title after they edged Army Red 1-0 in an evenly contested Final in Gangtok.
They thumped ATK Juniors 6-2 and eased past Calcutta Customs by 4-2 in an unbeaten campaign. This clinical performance will surely provide the psychological back-up to the Manang side when they square off against arguably the best team of India in the 2017-18 season.
Manang Marshyangdi made their AFC Cup debut in Kathmandu in Nepal where they suffered a 0-1 loss to Bangladeshi heavyweights Dhaka Abahani. The 8 times Nepal A Division Champions will be hopeful of kick-starting their Campaign when they face Chennaiyin FC.
It will be a dejavu moment for Indian defender Mohammed Asif who is at Manang when he faces a club from his own country in the battle for Asia. Chennaiyin defenders will have to be wary of Nigerian forward duo of Oluwaunmi Somide and Afeez Olawale Oladipo, as these two have been scoring for fun in Nepal for the Manange, as they are nicknamed.
Manang Marshyangdi may trouble the Chennaiyin side for the initial moments of the game, but with the quality Chennaiyin possess, the Indian Super League side is expected to scrap in a win over the Nepalese side.
Predicted Score: Chennaiyin FC 1-0 Manang MarshyangdiPublished 16 Apr 2019, 07:30 IST