ISL 2018-19: Chennaiyin FC vs Kerala Blasters FC, Match Preview, Predictions, Venue & Where to watch details
Chennaiyin FC will be aiming to get their title defence back on track when they meet rivals Kerala Blasters FC at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Thursday in the ongoing Hero Indian Super League (ISL) season. The Super Machans have not registered a win at home so far this season and are in desperate need of a victory after securing just four points from their eight games until now.
However, John Gregory's men have the perfect opportunity to make things right when they host a depleted Kerala Blasters team, who are on a seven-game winless run at the moment. David James' team suffered their third straight defeat against NorthEast United FC during their last outing in the ISL and have failed to win a single game since their win over ATK in the inaugural fixture of the season.
Both teams will be aiming for nothing short of three points on Thursday as they aim to make up for their stuttering start to the new campaign. The fixture will prove to be a huge six-pointer and a win for the hosts will help them go level on points with the Blasters, who have seven points from their eight games until now.
On the other hand, a win for the visitors will help them keep pace with ATK for the final playoff spot currently occupied by Jamshedpur FC, who are ahead of Mumbai City FC only on goal difference, with 14 points at this stage of the season.
Chennaiyin FC vs Kerala Blasters FC: Match Information
Date: 29 November 2018
Kickoff: 7:30 PM IST
Live Stream: Star Sports Network and Hotstar.com
Venue: Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, Chennai
Chennaiyin FC vs Kerala Blasters FC: Team News
Dhanpal Ganesh is still under rehabilitation after suffering a knee injury during Chennaiyin's pre-season camp in Malaysia and has been a huge miss for the defending champions so far this season. The midfielder is not expected to be back in action at least until the second half of the season and is the only player unavailable for the meeting with Kerala Blasters.
Kerala Blasters FC
David James will have the liberty of picking his best possible starting eleven against Chennaiyin on Thursday since the Kerala Blasters are not troubled by any injuries or suspensions at this point in time.
Chennaiyin FC vs Kerala Blasters FC: Probable Lineups
Chennaiyin FC (4-3-3): Karanjit Singh; Inigo Calderon, Eli Sabia, Mailson Alves, Jerry Lalrinzuala; Thoi Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Raphael Augusto; Andrea Orlandi, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Francis Fernandes
Kerala Blasters FC(4-2-3-1): Naveen Kumar; Cyril Kali, Sandesh Jhingan, Nemanja Lakic-Pesic, Lalruatthara; Nikola Krcmarevic, Sahal Abdul Samad; CK Vineeth, Slavisa Stojanovic, Prasanth Karuthadathkuni; Matej Poplatnik
Chennaiyin FC vs Kerala Blasters: Form Guide
Chennaiyin FC: L-W-L-L-D
Kerala Blasters FC: L-L-L-D-D
Chennaiyin FC vs Kerala Blasters: Head-to-Head
Chennaiyin FC: 3
Kerala Blasters FC: 3
Chennaiyin FC vs Kerala Blasters: Key Players
Raphael Augusto will have to be at his influential best to lift a struggling Chennaiyin side in the southern derby clash against Kerala Blasters on Thursday. The midfielder converted a penalty during the 3-1 defeat to Jamshedpur FC in Chennaiyin's last game and will need to operate efficiently through the middle and bring his teammates into the game.
The Brazilian, who was a central figure during Chennaiyin's run to lift the trophy last season, has played every single minute of the Super Machans' ISL campaign until now and will be aiming to help his team turn the tide at home to their rivals.
Kerala Blasters FC
CK Vineeth has had a mixed season for the Kerala Blasters after becoming the club's all-time leading goal-scorer for the club ahead of Iain Hume while also coming under the firing lane due to his off-field comments. The forward had allegedly commented on his distaste with the fans of Kerala Blasters and the situation escalated after a prominent newspaper published a story on it.
However, Vineeth will be aiming to silence his critics by putting in a stellar shift against Chennaiyin on Thursday and it is not beyond him to score a goal or two in this fixture like in recent years.
Chennaiyin FC vs Kerala Blasters: Predictions
The southern derby will have serious repercussions on the ambitions of both teams this season, especially considering the fact that they have both disappointed until now. Both teams are in desperate need of a win to overturn their fortunes and we expect a very close game on Thursday night.
As for a prediction, we think Kerala Blasters might just nick all three points with just a solitary goal, especially since the defending champions have conceded the second-highest amount of goals this term.
Predicted Score - Chennaiyin FC 0-1 Kerala Blasters