Chennaiyin FC coach Csaba Laszlo will have a lot to worry about when his side faces Indian Super League (ISL) 2020-21 table-toppers Mumbai City FC at the GMC Stadium, Goa on Monday. (More Football News)
After 13 games, Chennaiyin's misfiring attack is still struggling to find its feet. Placed sixth, Chennaiyin have netted just 10 goals all season — the least by any team. Their 0-1 defeat to ATK Mohun Bagan in the previous game meant that they have now failed to score in 7 matches out of 13 — the most by any side.
And now, the two-time ISL winners not only face a Mumbai side that is on an 11-match unbeaten run but also the team with the strongest defence in the league. Mumbai have conceded just four goals all season. This presents Chennaiyin with a tough challenge and Laszlo has called for his misfiring attack to step up.
"They (our forwards) are asked to score whenever there's a possibility, that's one of the main points," he said. "We have been unlucky in many cases where we created chances and have missed. I can't teach them how to create chances but in the last moment, you must be there to put the ball into the net. And tomorrow's game is the same. I'm sure we will get chances and possibilities to use them. But (we need) more attention, instinct and be hungry for goals."
The Islanders edged Chennaiyin 2-1 in their previous meetings but it was Chennaiyin who dominated the game and fashioned better chances, despite ending up on the wrong side of the scoreline. And Laszlo is hoping for more of the same on Monday.
"We have to try to break them down. We have our tactical plans which we did in the first game. We were nearly successful but we were unlucky (to lose the game)," he said.
Meanwhile, Mumbai find themselves five points clear at the top and seem favourites to clinch the spot. Coach Sergio Lobera is content with his side's position but knows things can turn around quickly.
"I was working everyday with the City Football Group and Mumbai City, trying to build a winning team with players suited to our style of play," he said. "I am happy now because we are in a good position but the most important thing now is the end of the season. We are playing well, (we have) very good stats, very good numbers. We are on top of the table but in this league and during this phase, everything is possible in seven days. You have 3 games in 10 days and you can lose points. We have to keep working the same way."
Head-to-head: This will be their 14th meeting in the ISL, and 15th overall, including one Super Cup match. Chennaiyin lead the overall head-to-head record 7-5. But Mumbai won the first leg of the season, 2-1.
All you need to know about the Chennaiyin FC Vs Mumbai City match:
Match: Match 71 of ISL 2020-21 between Chennaiyin FC and Mumbai City
Date: January 25 (Monday), 2021.
Time: 7:30 PM IST
Venue: GMC Stadium, Goa
TV Listing: Star Sports 1/HD, Star Sports 2/HD (English); Star Sports Hindi 1/HD, Star Sports 3, Star Gold 2 (Hindi), Asianet Plus, Asianet Movies (Malayalam); Star Sports Bangla; Star Sports Kannada; Star Sports Tamil; Star Sports Telugu and Star Sports Marathi.
Live Streaming: Online streaming will be available on Disney+ Hotstar VIP and JioTV.
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine