ANI Photo | ISL: Northeast United, Chennaiyin eye win after initial slump

Chennaiyin FC. (Photo- AIFF Media)

New Delhi [India], September 29 (ANI): Chennaiyin FC will head to Guwahati to face NorthEast United FC at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium as the two teams seek their first victory in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season.
This will be the second game on the road for the Marina Machans and head coach Owen Coyle is planning to put in a convincing performance that can help them gain some positive momentum before they play their first home match of the campaign against the Mohun Bagan Super Giant on October 7, as per an ISL press release. 
*What’s at stake?
NorthEast United FC
The Highlanders cannot afford to slip up too many times early on this season given that they are already coming on the back of a forgettable ISL 2022-23. Tactician Juan Pedro Benali needs to win over the support of the home crowd right from the offset and hence a victory against Chennaiyin FC could help them ward off the demons of their demoralising 7-3 loss to them at this very ground in December 2022.
Chennaiyin FC
Coyle’s teams are renowned for playing a fluid, free-flowing style of football, especially when they attack. That coordination was missing in the previous match as they arguably appeared rusty and failed to put the ball behind the back of the net even once against Odisha FC. Coyle will want his boys to buy into his ideas from the start of the campaign, and on-field results for the same are essential starting from this encounter in Guwahati.  
*Key Players
Parthib Gogoi (NorthEast United FC)
The 20-year-old attacker starred with an incredible goal from the long-range against Mumbai City FC in the opening matchweek. His burst of pace, quick footwork, and element of surprise in and around the opposition box are major assets that coach Benali should look to optimise against Chennaiyin FC.
Farukh Choudhary (Chennaiyin FC)
Coyle trusts Farukh Choudhary, as has been evident with his multiple stints in the ISL. However, the 26-year-old winger needs to start translating that potential into performance. He is one of Chennaiyin FC’s most notable Indian players this year and has the chance to maximise his opportunities with the support of celebrated attacking counterparts such as Connor Shields and Rafael Crivellaro.
Played – 18
Chennaiyin FC – 7
NorthEast United FC – 6
Draws – 5
*Team Talk
“All the players are available at the moment. Everybody is doing their job and in a game, around 100 minutes, there are a lot of small games (phases) for a minute or two. A lot of things change in that. In the end, the most important thing is that we deserved more than what the score showed (in the last game vs Mumbai City FC) and the most important thing is to keep our heads up and think about the next match (vs Chennaiyin FC),” NorthEast United head coach Juan Pedro Benali gave a team update for the next match and stressed upon winning smaller phases of the over the course of 90 minutes.
“We know it is a tough game. Coming to Guwahati and Northeast is anytime difficult. I watched their game against Mumbai and they did really well with some really good performances. They scored a wonderful goal from a young and talented Indian player (Parthib Gogoi), which is fantastic for NorthEast United FC and the league. So, we are under no illusion of how difficult this game will be. But, we are looking forward to it,” Chennaiyin FC coach touched upon the challenge of taking on the Highlanders in their own backyard.
Players to Watch Out – Indian youngsters such as Liston Colaco, Parthib Gogoi, and Aakash Sangwan along with Kerala’s Japanese star Daisuke Sakai and Mohun Bagan Super Giant’s Dimitri Petratos are the players one should secure in the team for the chance of yielding optimum returns in Matchweek 2.

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