FC Goa aim to be the best of the rest in clash against long-time rivals Chennaiyin FC

ISL Matchweek 22 Preview (FCG v CFC): FC Goa aim to be the best of the rest in clash against long-time rivals Chennaiyin FC
FC Goa

(Football news) As the ISL 2023-24 season nears its climax, FC Goa and Chennaiyin FC prepare for a monumental clash at the Fatorda on April 14, Sunday, at 7:30 pm IST. With both teams eyeing their respective objectives, this match promises to be a thrilling encounter filled with high stakes and intense competition.

FC Goa’s Quest for Second Place: The Gaurs enter the match with a singular focus to secure the coveted second spot in the ISL standings. With 42 points from 21 games, they trail behind Mohun Bagan Super Giant by a slim margin. A victory against Chennaiyin FC combined with a stumble from Mohun Bagan Super Giant in their upcoming fixture could propel FC Goa into the runner-up position. This would not only solidify their standing in the league but also grant them a direct berth in the semi-finals, bypassing the playoffs.

Chennaiyin FC’s Playoff Momentum: Meanwhile, Chennaiyin FC arrives at the Fatorda Stadium with a resurgence of form, becoming the sixth team to clinch their playoff berth with a string of impressive performances. Their late surge, fueled by four wins in their last five matches, has cemented their position among the league’s elite. With the playoffs looming on the horizon, the Marina Machans aims to maintain their winning momentum and assert their dominance against FC Goa.

What’s at stake?
FC Goa

• FC Goa have been on a solid recent run against Chennaiyin FC, having won four out of their last five league games with them. They have kept a clean sheet in each of these victories. Simultaneously, they don’t encounter troubles in finding their scoring boots against the Marina Machans, having netted in each of their last 13 games against them.

• Only against Kerala Blasters do FC Goa have a longer such streak (19 matches), and this fact should keep the Chennaiyin FC defence on their toes in this match. It is a historic rivalry indeed in the context of the ISL, with FC Goa having scored 48 goals against Chennaiyin FC in the ISL, the most a team has scored against a single opponent in the competition.

• Meanwhile, the Marina Machans have scored 39 goals against the Gaurs, the most a team other than FC Goa have scored against a single side in the competition. Are we anticipating a goal-fest in this highly-important encounter?

Chennaiyin FC

• Chennaiyin FC have scored at least two goals or more in each of their last three games in the ISL. The last time they recorded a longer such streak was a stretch of four matches from January-February 2020.

• Owen Coyle has inspired his squad to beat the odds and make it to the playoffs, but the coming game will put forth a unique challenge in front of him. His win rate of 20% against Manolo Marquez is his lowest against any manager that Coyle has locked horns with at least thrice in the ISL.

• Both these tacticians set their teams up differently, but Marquez seems to have unlocked an idea that can keep Coyle’s men at bay so far. Chennaiyin FC will want to rely on the aerial prowess of Jordan Murray, who has won six aerial duels per 90 minutes in ISL 2023-24, which is the highest such rate by any player to have played a minimum of 700 minutes this season.

Key Players to Watch Out

Noah Sadaoui (FC Goa)- Noah Sadaoui has scored 10 goals and assisted thrice in 19 appearances this season. He has averaged 24 passes per game at 77% accuracy, making 31 key passes, completing the same number of successful dribbles, creating 35 goal-scoring chances, and winning 97 duels. Sadaoui has made nine interceptions and clearances each, in addition to rounding off 70 recoveries, and emerging victorious in 14 aerial duels. The Moroccan has been finding his groove just in time of the playoffs. Against Chennaiyin FC, he has found the back of the net twice in three appearances.

Aakash Sangwan (Chennaiyin FC)- Aakash Sangwan scored the equaliser for Chennaiyin FC in their previous match against NorthEast United FC. The fullback has won 22 tackles and made 27 interceptions in 14 appearances this season. He has averaged 35 passes per game at 71% accuracy. Sangwan has made 26 clearances and won 29 aerial duels. He has created 13 goal-scoring opportunities, making 68 recoveries in addition to winning 65 duels too. He has cemented his spot in the Chennaiyin FC defensive line and hence has a couple of key weeks coming ahead for him.

Also read: Sreenidi Deccan FC edge past Shillong Lajong FC in thriller


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