Chennai, December 6: Chennaiyin FC will hope to continue with their winning momentum as they host two-time champions ATK in their fourth-round clash of the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Thursday.
Chennaiyin FC and ATK are the only two champions in the three editions of the ISL. But while Chennaiyin FC have recovered after a setback in the opener against FC Goa to win two matches in a row, ATK are languishing at the bottom of the table with just two points from three matches.
Chennaiyin FC coach John Gregory has used the same winning combination for the last two matches, but may be forced into making a couple of changes to tackle the visitors.
JG: Dhanpal Ganesh is in the team to do what he does best. I wouldn't want to play against him, honestly. He's tough, good in the air, tackles well. He plays to his strengths very well. He's had a good couple of games so far.#PoduMachiGoalu #CHEKOL— Chennaiyin FC (@ChennaiyinFC) December 6, 2017
"People say never change a winning team, but sometimes you have to make adjustments to improve in certain areas. For two and half games, we have not conceded a goal. We have scored three times in the last 10 minutes which shows that my boys will keep going till the final whistle," Gregory said on the eve of the high-octane clash.
While Chennaiyin FC have hit the ground running since conceding three goals in the first 45 minutes against FC Goa, their star Indian striker, Jeje Lalpekhlua, is yet to add his name to the scoresheet. The coach though isn't worried and believes if Jeje continues to work as hard as he did in the last match against FC Pune City, the goals will not be too far away.
A post shared by Atlético de Kolkata (@atkworld) on Dec 5, 2017 at 8:07pm PST
The goals have dried up for ATK as the defending champions have scored just once in three games and that too from a free-kick. Coach Teddy Sheringham will have to pull a rabbit out of his hat, particularly when former Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane, Sheringham confirmed, "will not be involved" against Chennaiyin FC.
"This has not been the best starts. It's not good for the reigning champions. There have been a few setbacks along the way but I believe we are not far away. We are trying to do something. We must do better and we remain positive," said Sheringham.
Sheringham's belief stems from the fact that ATK did well in both their away matches against Kerala Blasters and Jamshedpur FC when they drew both games.
"If it's boxing, we could have won both games on points," said Sheringham.
Chennaiyin FC vs ATK
Indian Super League
Live from Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium
at 8 pm
on Star Sports 2 and Hotstar
Source: ISL Media