Image Courtesy: Indian Super League Media Team
FC Pune City have been on of the best teams in the Indian Super League (ISL), this season, and they would be looking to carry forward their good form, to go top of the table once again, by defeating Chennaiyin FC, at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, in Chennai, on Saturday.
FC Goa have currently taken the top spot, after a win against Kerala Blasters FC, at the Fatorda Stadium, in Goa, but the Gaurs have played one match more than FC Pune City. The Maharashtrian team could take advantage of this, to go top of the ISL.
Another thing the Stallions could take advantage of is the fact that Chennaiyin FC are yet to win a match in front of their home fans, this season. However, that statistic is a bit skewed, as the only home match they have played so far, is the ISL opener against defending champions Altetico de Kolkata (ATK), who won the match 3-2.
However, FC Pune City manager David Platt seemed to be playing down the fact that there might be some difference between playing at home and away.
“I dona t feel there is some massive advantage of home and away in this league,” he said in a pre-match press release. “All you have to do is travel and team stay in a hotel. We have a hotel in Pune which is our home hotel. Home and away is not necessarily important.”
In fact, Platt is playing down all the other factors, and seems to be trying to concentrate just on winning matches and getting the points on the board.
a This is not that important that you are top of the league or not top of the league. At the moment this doesna t matter, we have a long season ahead. Getting into the qualifiers and being in top 4 is important,” said Platt. “It is important to prepare for every football match and perform good to win. Past is past, we have to concentrate on future games.a
Chennaiyin, on the other hand, would be looking to get over their humiliating loss at the hands of the then bottom-placed team North Ease United FC (NEUFC), and are trying to get their season backs on track. They had rested key players Stiven Mendoza and Elano, for the NEUFC match, and that resulted in a 2-0 loss in Guwahati. This is why Chennaiyin FC assistant coach Vivek Nagul reiterated that they would be going with their first team, this time round.
a We just wanted to rotate our players because this is a very compact league and we need to give a rest to the players. Yes, we didna t get the result we expected. This time we will be playing with the team to get the three points,a said Nagul. a At the movement all the players are available for the game. Now we have to decide whom to start with.a
However, a win is set to end most of their woes, and send Chennaiyin FC into the second spot of the ISL table, just ahead of FC Pune City. However, Marco Materazzi’s men would have their work cut out against what looks like the best team in the ISL.