Fatorda Stadium, Goa
15th October 2014, 19:00 IST
Robert Pires’s FC Goa takes on Marco Materazzi’s Chennaiyin FC, in what is supposed to be a solid example of Attack versus Defense. While FC Goa, boast a side consisting of attacking heavyweights, Chennaiyin FC flaunts a side consisting of the defensive gods. A win and three points will be crucial for both the sides, as it will cement a solid start to their inaugural campaigns. A win for any side, will also make them equals with Atletico de Kolkata, who sit on their perch comfortably, enjoying a three goal difference.
Team News and Tactical Brief:
Masterminded and led by the legendary Zico, FC Goa are supposed to pose some threat to the title challenges of heavyweights such as Delhi Dynamos and Mumbai City. Compromising of a fluid midfield, led by Robert Pires, alongside Holicharan, FC Goa will look to Clifford Miranda to provide the much needed defensive cover. Both Marcelino and Fernandes, are known for their mesmerizing style of play, and will look to take on opponents and beat them. The Pacey Miguel Herlein, is set to start ahead of Dempo legend, Ranti Martins. Herlein, who is just 21, has been instrumental for Granada. However, a change early into the first half could see Ranti, come on. Ranti Martins, is one of the most prolific strikers in the Indian Subcontinent. The Nigerian went on to score, a staggering 172 goals in 161 games, for Dempo S.C. The defensive cover is provided by the Center back pairing of Benegelloun and Arnolin, with Ex-Arsenal man Andre Santos and Debabrata Roy, operating as Wingbacks. The Goan side, looks to captivate hearts and souls, with a beautiful display of passing game, highlighted with a streak of skill and trickery.
FC Goa Probable XI: Jan Šeda, Debabrata Roy, Grégory Arnolin, Youness Bengelloun, Andre Santos, Clifford Miranda, Holicharan Narzary, Robert Pires, Edgar Marcelino, Romeo Fernandes, Miguel Herlein
Formation: 4-1-4-1, which could also be reverted to a 4-5-1, later in the game.
Flaunting, arguably the best defensive back four in the Indian Super League, the Marco Materazzi side, would be setting eyes on a clean sheet. The defensive duo of Gouramangi Singh and Marco Materazzi, could be a death bed for Miguel, while Mendy and Dhanachandra Singh would provide the extra running and covering up of the flanks, marshaled by the pacey Goan players. The Chennai squad, looks pitch perfect for a defensive setup, as both Harmanjot Khabra and Pierre Tillman, are known for their excellent covering, with the former being arguably the best defensive mid in the country. It is upto the attacking trio of Hidalgo, Elano and Bojan, to create magic and provide defense splitting passes for Balwant Singh to slot goals home. Both Elano and Bojan, are known for their creative style of play, with the former adding a penchant of Brazilian flair to the Chennai Game. Balwant Singh, who is expected to start ahead of promising Jeje, has been constant in front of goal, scoring whatever service is provided to him.
Chennaiyin FC Probable XI: Shilton Paul, Bernard Mendy, Gouramangi Singh, Marco Materazzi, Dhanachandra Singh, Harmanjot Khabra, Pierre Tillman, Cristian Hidalgo, Elano, Bojan Djordjic, Balwant Singh
Formation: 4-2-3-1 with a possible switch to 4-4-2
FC Goa 1 – Chennaiyin FC 1
A classic game of defense versus attack is set to result in a draw, with Chennaiyin FC probably scoring their equalizer through a counter attack. FC Goa are expected to have possession, for the majority of the game.