The final of the Hero Indian Super League is upon us, as FC Goa welcome Chennaiyin at the Fatorda Stadium on Sunday, The Hard Tackle predicts three key battles to watch out for.
The Indian Super League authorities had determined long back that this seasona s final would be held in Goa and FC Goa, who enjoy exuberant home support, will hope to take the full advantage of their home support, after having qualified for the final on Sunday. Chennaiyin FC, though, would be hardly worried that FC Goa have managed to qualify for the final at their home stadium and will hope to extend on their results at the Fatorda stadium.
Both teams will hope to go the distance after being knocked out in the semi finals last year and the match is bound to be a tight affair but both manager have promised to retain their attacking style of gameplay in the final. The Hard Tackle looks forward into the match and picks out three factors which could play a key role in deciding the outcome of the match.
Lucio v Stiven Mendoza
FC Goaa s marquee player Lucio may have squashed any talks about one of the key duels to look out for in the final, but the Guars will depend upon the experience of the world cup winner to counter the threat of Chennaiyin FCa s top scorer Stiven Mendoza. The young Colombian has been a standout player for Chennaiyin FC in both season and the duel will point to the direction of which side will hold the slight advantage in the final. The classic duel between a centre forward and a centre back will always be duel to keep an eye on.
Rafael Coelho v Bernard Mendy
On the other end of the field, the duel between now fit Rafael Coelho and Bernard Mendy will also be one to keep an eye out for and will largely depend on which version of Mendy comes to field. Mendy had been immense for Chennaiyin last season, but the Frenchman has been quite inconsistent and has committed a number of mistakes that lead to goals for the opposition this season. The latest being against Atletico de Kolkata in the second leg of the semi final to allow Dejan Lekic to open the scoring in the match. Rafael, on the other hand, has been signed as a replacement to Victor Simoes and has had an instant impact in the Guars lineup. The effect of Rafael could be gauged in the second leg of the semi final, as he was rampant against the side from the capital.
Jofre v Manuele Blasi
FC Goaa s Jofre and Super Machansa Blasi will be the third key duel to keep an eye on in the final, as the midfield battle will determine which team will go on to prevail in the match. The Spainard had played a bit part role is Atletico de Kolkataa s title triumph, but has been a key player for Zico as he performed brilliantly in the deeper role to dictate the tempo of the game. Chennaiyin FC will be missing the services of Rafael Augusto, who had been a key player in Chennaiyin recovering ita s form, through injury, but Manuele Blasi has performed accordingly to his teama s need whenever called upon. The Italian will again be called up by his manager to breakup and slow down the tempo against FC Goa who prefer quick counter attacks through the wings.
Image Courtesy: ISL Media .