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Sports


Chennaiyin tread tricky waters for first away win

Guwahati, Dec 11 (UNI) NorthEast United will be keen to get back to winning ways when
they face the Chennaiyin FC challenge at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati
on Thursday evening.
The Highlanders have been winless in their last three games and were taken to the
cleaners by league leaders ATK with a 3-0 drubbing on home soil.
The manner in which Roy Krishna and David Williams exposed NorthEast’s problems
at the back, especially in the left-back slot would leave coach Robert Jarni worried.
It must be mentioned that on each of the three times NorthEast have conceded the first
goal, they have failed to pick three points.
Jarni will likely be without star striker Asamoah Gyan for this fixture which would mean Maximilliano Barrero would be handed a rare start alongside Martin Chaves.
“Gyan is very important to us but we have many players. I don’t know if he will play the
next game but we have other good players in the team,” said the Croatian.
Chennaiyin FC would be just one training session old since their 1-1 draw to
Jamshedpur FC. Coach Owen Coyle still hasn’t had enough time to inculcate or
communicate his ideas to the players which also means that the John Gregory
hangover would continue for another game.
They have made it a habit of conceding late goals, a trend which has been going for
the last four matches. Each time, they concede the first goal, Chennaiyin FC have gone
on to lose.
Masih Saighani picked up a knock in their last game and Coyle may replace the
Afghanistan midfielder with Germanpreet Singh.
They would continue to rely on Nerijus Valskis who has scored four goals in his last
three matches.
What Coyle needs is for his team to not lose focus in the final quarter of the game
and that they make better decisions when in good attacking positions.
“We do not fear anyone, we are respectful towards anyone. If we give our best, we
can win a game,” said the former Wigan manager.
Guwahati hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for Chennaiyin FC who have won just
once in five attempts. Coyle would certainly look for a turnaround in their fortunes if they
are to move upwards on the table.
UNIM XC-PC BM
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