ISL: Chennaiyin FC take on Kerala Blasters in first home match
Chennaiyin FC will look to consolidate their position in the points table while Kerala Blasters FC will be seeking to open their account when they take on each other in a Indian Super League fixture here today
Chennai: Chennaiyin FC will look to consolidate their position in the points table while Kerala Blasters FC will be seeking to open their account when they take on each other in a Indian Super League fixture here today.
Chennaiyin FC had started their campaign with a win over FC Goa while Kerala Blasters FC went down to Northeast United FC in their tournament opener away for home.
The hosts are placed fourth on the standings while the visiting side is struggling at the bottom of the heap.
The Chennai outfit, who prevailed over FC Goa 1-2 in their opening match in a pulsating encounter away from home, will be a tough nut to crack. And the home support at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium will only strengthen their morale, which is already on a high after collecting full points at the start.
While they may have lost Swedish midfielder Pierre Tillman and Spanish striker Eduardo Silva Lerma due to contractual issues, Chennai have found able replacements in Cameroonian medio Eric Djemba Djemba and Haitian forward Jean-Eudes Maurice.
Djemba Djemba is a former Manchester United player and was last plying his trade for Scottish Premiership club St Mirren. The 33-year-old midfielder has represented Cameroon 24 times at the senior international level including the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
Maurice is a former Paris Saint Germain player and has also featured for Lens and Le Mans in the French top tier. Besides, they have marquee player Elano in their ranks, and Balwant Singh, who became the first Indian player to score in the inaugural ISL, will look to impress further.
Against hosts FC Goa, the Chennaiyin defence soaked up the pressure well, and their midfield also seemed decent enough. They will look to do better today.
Kerala Blasters will look upto the talismanic David James for inspiration. The former English Premier League star was capped 53 times by England between 1997 and 2010, and was first choice goalkeeper during the team's Euro 2004 and the 2010 World Cup campaigns.
Ex-Newcastle United striker Michael Chopra will also be a key man in Kerala's scheme of things and he will have to be more alert upfront.
Home-grown players such as midfielders Mehtab Hossain, Ishfaq Ahmed and current national team players like Sandesh Jhingan and Nirmal Chettri will have to synchronise with the overseas stars if the visitors are to move up in the packing order.