ISL 2017: How Chennaiyin FC could lineup next season
The fourth edition of the Indian Super League is barely two months from kickoff, and all the teams have completed their respective squads with the addition of talented Indians as well as high-profile foreigners.
This season, 2015 champions Chennayin FC are primed to dethrone defending champions ATK and reclaim their lost glory.
The 'Marina Machans' will try to utilize the best they have to achieve their aspiration, to be crowned as the champions of India.
The club poached some top Indian talents in the domestic market while experienced and proven foreigners were also signed before the deadline of 12th September. While the team's ranks contain the likes of Indian internationals like Jeje Lalpekhlua, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Germanpreet Singh, Anirudh Thapa and so on, their foreign contingent is blessed with the some proven players like Gregory Nelson, Jaime Gavilan, Henrique Sereno, Raphael Augusto, Rene Mihelic, Mailson Alves, Inigo Calderon and Jude Nworuh.
By incorporating the best Indians and foreigners available, Chennaiyin FC are well-set for another season where they are expected to fight for the title. Here is how they could line up next season under new head coach John Gregory's watch.
Former Aston Villa manager Gregory is likely to go with a 4-3-3 setup. This formation will provide Chennaiyin with a decent style of playing and is the most applicable one, considering the players in their ranks.
In this formation, Karanjit Singh, among the two domestic players to be retained by the club ahead of the draft, will be the man between the sticks. While ISL winner Sereno and the versatile Calderon are more likely to cover the centre of the defense, Mailson also remains an option. Budding talent Jerry Lalrinzuala is expected to make the left back position his own like he did last season. In the right flank of the defence, Keenan Almeida is the most likely option.
Coming to the midfield, Chennaiyin may deploy India international Dhanpal Ganesh in a holding midfield role. Ahead of Dhanpal, we could see Thoi Singh, Germanpreet Singh and Rene Mihelic fighting for two places. The services of Mihelic and India international Germanpreet will surely provide more verticality to the midfield.
In the attacking third is where Chennaiyin's squad looks a unit to beat. The services of competent attackers like Gavilan and Nelson will be key to their designs, while the presence of Indian star Jeje up front as a number 9 will make Chennaiyin's attack a fearsome prospect for any defence.
In short, Chennayin FC will likely resort to deploying the proven, budding Indian young talents alongside experienced foreign recruits. The team's squad is consistent and is capable of challenging for the title, only if Gregory gets used to the league in no time.