Bengaluru vs Chennaiyin: Preview and Prediction

Another Southern Derby is on the cards and this match will be crucial

The stage is set for the second chapter of Kaveri Derby in the 2022-23 Indian Super League as two arch-rivals are going to share the same battlefield once again. The forthcoming game will feature the seventh-placed Bengaluru and eighth-placed Chennaiyin who are both eying for a Top 6 finish. Sree Kanteerava Stadium of Karnataka’s capital city will be the venue of this action-packed Southern Derby clash scheduled for this Saturday. 

A sudden resurgence of the Karnataka Blues has brought life to their ongoing ISL campaign and also kept their hopes for playoffs qualification alive. The Scottish gaffer Simon Grayson who looked feeble in the initial stages of his tenure is now presenting a serious threat to the teams sitting at the top half of the points table. They have currently occupied the seventh position in the points table having fetched 19 points and 6 wins from 15 matches.  

Chennaiyin kick-started their ninth successive campaign in the Indian top-flight league with a bang and thrashed the heavyweights ATK Mohun Bagan in the opening game of the season at Salt Lake Stadium. However, the Marina Machans couldn’t carry forward it further and are struggling to pave their way into the Top 6 picture. The Tamil Nadu-based club is currently seated in the eighth position right behind Bengaluru who have a two-point lead over their counterparts. 

Current Form

The Karnataka Blues are thriving on a winning streak of three matches after turning the tables around in no time. A thumping 3-0 triumph over the Jamshedpur side not only completed their hat-trick of victories but also brought them closer to sixth-placed Odisha. Rohit Kumar (7′), Roy Krishna (43′) and Sivashakthi Narayanan (62′) bagged one goal each while the Blues’ goalkeeper also kept his first clean sheet in five fixtures. 

Chennaiyin is yet to register a single win after their historic 7-3 triumph over NorthEast United in December 2022. The Marina Machans’ current form is devastating as the two-time champions have managed to claim all three points only once in their last eight ISL appearances. They played a frustrating goalless draw with ATK Mohun Bagan in the previous matchday where the scoresheet remained unaffected despite a combined tally of 11 shots on target. 

Head-to-Head Record

When Bengaluru's dream debut run was erupted by the Marina Machans

When Bengaluru’s dream debut run was erupted by the Marina Machans 

Owing to Bengaluru’s late addition to the country’s top-flight football league, the two Southern counterparts have faced each other only on 12 occasions to date and the West Block Blues are currently having an edge over the Machans in the head-to-head count after leading the rivalry record by 6-3. One of the very famous wins of Chennaiyin came in the 2017-18 edition when they defeated Bengaluru in the finals of their debut ISL campaign. 

When Chennaiyin faced their neighborhood rivals earlier this season, the battle couldn’t produce results and got consummated on a final scoreline of 1-1. The Marina Arena crowd witnessed the star Fijian striker Roy Krishna from the away roster breaking the deadlock in the early minutes after his fourth-minute goal brought them in lead. However, the scoreline was levelled in the first half itself as the 25-year-old winger K Prasanth registered his maiden goal of the season. 

The last time Chennaiyin arrived at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium to face the Karnataka-based outfit for an ISL game was back in November 2019 before the occurrence of the covid pandemic. It turned out to be a one-sided saga for the home side which went on to register a 3-0 win in front of 16,219 spectators. Two early breakthroughs from the Australian midfielder Erik Paartalu and skipper Sunil Chhetri built first-half momentum while Semboi Haokip’s 84th-minute goal sealed it for Bengaluru. 

Team News

It was another Hit performance from Bengaluru's new Mr Dependable

It was another Hit performance from Bengaluru’s new Mr Dependable 

Simon Grayson named an unchanged starting XI for the previous game and may rotate his lineup to sustain further the momentum. The 25-year-old midfielder Rohit Kumar is quite enjoying his new free role in the middle and has cemented his place after scoring in both of his previous appearances. Rohit has blocked the door of Starting Eleven for the likes of Danish Farooq who has lost his first-choice status and is warming the bench. 

As per the reports, Abdenasser El Khayati’s recovery route is going to be a long one and the Dutch playmaker is still far away from making a comeback to the battlefield. The Number 10 position of the Marina Machans’ starting XI in the absence of El Khayati is acquired by Anirudh Thapa who is still not up to the mark. The flamboyant Tamizhan winger Alexander Romario Jesuraj missed out on the previous matchday and is likely to return to the matchday squad. 

Predicted Starting XIs

Bengaluru (3-5-2): Gurpreet Singh Sandhu; Alan Costa, Sandesh Jhingan, Parag Shrivas; Prabir Das, Suresh Wangjam, Rohit Kumar, Javi Hernandez, Naorem Roshan Naorem; Roy Krishna, Sivashakthi Narayanan 

Chennaiyin (4-2-3-1): Samik Mitra; Ajith Kumar, Fallou Diagne, Vafa Hakhamaneshi, Aakash Sangwan; Julius Duker, Jockson Dhas; Ninthoi Meetei, Anirudh Thapa, Vincy Barretto; Petar Sliskovic 


Whether it’s the current form or head-to-head record or home advantage, each and every aspect of prediction is favoring Bengaluru to emerge victorious from this forthcoming encounter. The visitors who are considered underdogs for this clash are high-spirited after recently daunting two giant sides Hyderabad and ATK Mohun Bagan for draws. The Chennaiyin offense unit needs to accompany the diligent efforts of the defensive line if Thomas Brdaric wants to return Chennai with all points.