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Match 83 Preview: With semi-final hopes on the line, Chennaiyin FC and Mumbai City FC prepare for battle

Chennaiyin FC prepares to take on Mumbai City FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at PJN Stadium, Margao, Goa on Sunday as both teams aim to break into the top-four.

The contest is equally crucial for both sides. On one end, Mumbai City FC have scored just twice in their last four games. One was an own goal by Pritam Kotal and the other was a penalty by Ahmed Jahouh.

Meanwhile, Chennaiyin FC’s scarcity in goals with a crumbling defence in recent matches has made matters go from bad to worse. There have been three instances this season when CFC have dropped points after scoring a goal in the first 15 minutes of a game.

It remains to be seen if the two clubs will be able to overcome past setbacks and start afresh to salvage their campaign.

Form Guide

Chennaiyin FC: LDWLD

The season continues to prove turbulent for Chennaiyin FC as they could register only one win in their last six matches while they also allowed SC East Bengal to come back from two goals down to salvage a draw in their last game, dropping crucial two points.

Mumbai City FC: LDLDD

The defending champions Mumbai City FC are in their joint longest winless run in the Hero ISL, having not won in any of their last seven matches.

Read: When the going gets tough: Longest winless runs for every Hero ISL team

Head-to-head

The scales are equally balanced as both sides have won and lost six matches while drawing the three remaining out of 15 matches they have contested in.

Hero ISL 2021-22 points table

Team News

From the Chennaiyin FC camp, Vladimir Koman and Mohd Sajid Dhot, who have sustained injuries, have been ruled out of the Mumbai City FC fixture.

Key Players

Chennaiyin FC

Nerijus Valskis: He is set to make his 50th Hero ISL appearance. The Lithuanian striker has 25 goals and 7 assists in 49 matches in the tournament. His return to form will be crucial to Chennaiyin FC’s fortunes in the final matches of the league.

Mirlan Murzaev: Chennaiyin FC needs its experienced players to seize the moment especially with the absence of Koman now adding to the pressure. Murzaev is one of them. With two goals and as many assists this season, he will be expected to create more scoring opportunities.

Mumbai City FC

Ahmed Jahouh: Synonymous with consistency, Jahouh has been Mumbai City FC’s dependable force in the midfield. He has scored three goals and is the leading assist provider at the PJN Stadium this season with four assists.

Igor Angulo: The striker has netted eight goals this season and provided two assists. With over half of his attempted shots hitting the target, he has been the face of Mumbai City FC’s attack.

Key Stats

A half-century of wins awaits

Chennaiyin FC’s next win will be their 50th win in Hero ISL. They will become the third team after FC Goa (61) and Mumbai City FC (56) to reach this landmark. They also need 4 goals to reach 200 Hero ISL goals to become only the second club to do so after FC Goa.

Scarcity of goals

No team has scored fewer goals in the league this season than Chennaiyin FC (14). They are the only side yet to score more than two goals in a match this season.

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