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ISL Team Preview: Chennaiyin FC

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Image credits:
indiansuperleague.com
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Modified 27 Sep 2018
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Home Ground: Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai

Head Coach: John Gregory

Previous Seasons

The defending champions can become the first team in the history of Indian Super League to win back-to-back ISL titles. The Marina Machans have kept hold of the majority of their senior players as well as the title-winning manager for the upcoming season. Although the Cup-winning captain Henrique Sereno and Rene Mihelic have left the club, they have been replaced with more young-bloods as well as some experienced foreign players. Andrea Orlandi and Carlos Salom are the newly signed foreign players.

Under the coach John Gregory, Chennayin always tried to play attacking football with defenders strong at the back. Mizo Sniper Jeje Lalpekhlua will be the main man they will look upon for the season. Although the void left by Sereno as a commanding player at the back will be hard to replace for Chennaiyin. Midfielder Gregory Nelson is ruled out of the first half of the season due to a knee injury.

2014-15: Semi-Finalist

2015-16: Winner

2016-17: 7th

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2017-18: Winner

Match Statistics

Played: 68

Won: 30

Draw: 18

Lost: 20

SQUAD ANALYSIS

Goal-Keepers

Karanjit Singh, Nikhil Bernard, Sanjiban Ghosh (All India)

Karanjit Singh will be the first-choice goalkeeper for the two-time champions as he was terrific between the posts last season. Youngsters Sanjiban Ghosh and Nikhil Bernard, who was signed this season will provide cover and competition to Karanjit.

Defenders

Eli Sabia(Brazil), Inigo Calderon(Spain), Mailson Alves(Brazil), Jerry Lalrinzuala, Laldinliana Renthlei, Hendry Antonay, Tondonba Singh, Zohmingliana Ralte(All India).

Inigo Calderon and Mailson Alves were the pillars of Chennaiyin defense last season along with Henrique Sereno. They were rock solid at the back as well as dangerous going forward. Zohmingliana Ralte and Laldinliana Renthlei were signed this season from Bengaluru FC and Aizwal FC respectively.

Midfielders

Andrea Orlandi(Italy), Raphael Augusto(Brazil), Anirudh Thapa, Bedashwor Singh, Dhanpal Ganesh, Francisco Fernandes, Germanpreet Singh, Zonunmawia, Isaac Vanmalsawma, Thoi Singh, Pandian Srinivasan(All India).

Andrea Orlandi joins the club with a lot of experience playing for European giants FC Barcelona and some top-flight leagues across Europe. With Nelson out for the first half of the season, responsibilities will be on Orlandi to anchor the midfield along with Raphael Augusto. With the majority of the cup-winning mid-field retained, it will be the area of least concern for the manager.

Forwards

Carlos Salom(Palestine), Jeje Lalpekhlua, Mohammed Rafi(Both India).

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Jeje Lalpekhlua is one of the best strikers on India and he will be scoring a lot of goals this season. Palestinian striker Carlos Salom was signed for a one-year deal this season. The 'Headmaster' Muhammed Rafi can be a game-changing player for Chennaiyin FC this season.

Summary

With an average age of 27 years, Chennayin FC has a mix of youth and experience at their disposal. With this squad, we can expect some great contests from them this season.

Prediction: 

Chennaiyin FC will reach Semi-Finals for this year's Hero Indian Super League (2018-19)

Published 27 Sep 2018, 13:46 IST
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