ISL 2017, Match 5: Chennaiyin FC vs NorthEast United FC, Predicted XI
Chennaiyin FC host NorthEast United in their second home game of the season and the tie promises to be an absolute cracker. For starters, Chennaiyin have never managed to beat NorthEast United FC at the Marina Arena in Chennai.
Chennaiyin had a bitter start to the ISL season as they lost to FC Goa 3-2 at home, whereas NorthEast United drew their first game at home to newbies Jamshedpur FC. NorthEast United had a very good game against Jamshedpur and were unlucky to get just a point out of the game.
On the other hand, Chennai had a game of two halves. In the first half, they were horrible, but they pulled up their socks in the second half and reduced the margin of defeat to just one goal.
Let's take a look at what to expect from both the sides for their second ISL 2017 game.
John Gregory, Chennaiyin’s English coach, is expected to field a similar starting XI in the game against FC Goa, but two changes could be made to the side as Germanpreet Singh, the Indian national team midfielder, has recovered from an injury he sustained while on national team duty. Md Rafi is also expected to start, given Gregory acknowledges the presence of big physical players in the NorthEast backline. Starting a young short striker like Bodo could hamper their game.
Chennai will look to play in a 5-3-2 formation, which can always change into a 3-5-2 formation with both the wing backs moving forward and playing as wide players. With Germanpreet being fit for the game, the Chennaiyin team management will heave a sigh of relief as they looked pretty poor in the middle of the park against FC Goa.
Chennaiyin FC probable starting XI (5-3-2): Karanjit; Inigo, Sereno, Mailson, Dhanachandra, Jerry; Raphael, Germanpreet, Mihelic; Jeje, Md Rafi.
NorthEast United FC
NorthEast United coach Carlos Deus was not pleased with their draw against Jamshedpur FC but made it clear that he was very happy with the effort and performance put in by the lads on the pitch.
With a compact defence and midfield, this NorthEast team looks a different unit from what we have seen in the previous editions of the ISL. Creative Indian midfielders like Dika and Rowllin are in the side, and along with quality speedy wingers, NorthEast have certain key ingredients in the side which was missing in the previous season.
The Team looks much fitter than previous seasons and has showcased a much better brand of football as compared to past seasons. The best part of their game has been the way they adapt to situations and play accordingly. This season during the first game we saw a lot of interchanging and shift in the shape which kept Jamshedpur FC guessing.
NorthEast would like to keep their unbeaten record in Chennai intact and look to come back to Guwahati with all three points. The Coach is expected to start an unchanged eleven from the first game. They are predicted to start in a 4-1-4-1 formation.
NEUFC Probable Starting XI (4-1-4-1): TP Rehnesh; Nirmal, Hakku, Jose, Robert; Adilson; Dika, Marcinho, Lenn, Odair; Danilo.
Chennaiyin FC 1-2 NEUFC
With a cracker of a game on the cards, it looks like NEUFC have the upper hand, and will take home the three points. NorthEast have looked a real cohesive unit and have displayed some swift creative football.