East Bengal vs Chennaiyin: Preview and Prediction
East Bengal fans had high hopes for their team after a disappointing 2021-22 ISL season, but from what we have seen so far, it could be said that the problems still persist in their camp. The Torchbearers have only secured three points in four matches.
Chennaiyin’s situation is comparatively better than their opposition, but they have not been consistent either. In the three matches they have played so far, the Marina Machans have experienced all possible outcomes – a win, a defeat and a draw.
East Bengal started their campaign on a poor note, suffering a 1-3 defeat against Kerala Blasters in their campaign opener. In their second match against Goa, Stephen Constantine’s team held the scoreline to 1-1 for almost the entire match, until a 94th-minute free-kick from Edu Bedia sealed the win for the Gaurs.
So far, the third match against NorthEast United is the only instance of East Bengal performing well. Thanks to goals from Cleiton Silva, Charalampos Kyriakou and Jordan O’Doherty, the Torchbearers won that game 3-1. However, they will come into this match on the back of a frustrating 0-2 defeat in the Kolkata Derby against ATK Mohun Bagan.
Chennaiyin, on the contrary, had the perfect start to their campaign. Facing ATK Mohun Bagan away from home in their opening encounter, Thomas Brdaric’s men overturned a one-goal deficit to secure a 2-1 win.
However, since that victory, not much has gone in the Marina Machans’ favour. Their second match, which was the Southern Derby at home against Bengaluru, ended 1-1, while their last fixture against Goa resulted in a 0-2 defeat.
Head to Head Record
The head-to-head records between these two teams lie in perfect balance. There is absolutely nothing to separate the sides, as all four previous meetings between East Bengal and Chennaiyin have yielded draws.
The last meeting saw the teams engaging in a four-goal thriller. A Hira Mondal own goal and a Ninthoinganba Meetei strike handed Chennaiyin a 2-0 lead, but Darren Sidoel and Lalrinliana Hnamte’s late goals helped East Bengal make the scoreline 2-2.
While his team might have lost the Kolkata Derby, East Bengal certainly fought bravely in the first half. Hence, Constantine might decide against making too many changes to the team which started the fixture against ATK Mohun Bagan.
Among the expected changes, VP Suhair had a poor outing and might have to make way for Aniket Jadhav, who looked promising in his cameo appearance. Brazilian striker Eliandro also looked lively after coming on as a substitute, but it seems unlikely that the English manager will tweak his foreigners’ combination.
Brdaric, on the other hand, could make a few alterations to his team after what was a disappointing outing against Goa. Given that East Bengal’s defense has looked shaky so far, the German tactician could hand Kwame Karikari a start.
The Ghanaian frontman could pair up with Petar Sliskovic upfront, with Rahim Ali playing on the left flank at the expense of Prasanth Karuthadathkuni. However, to maintain overseas count, Brdaric will then have to replace Fallou Diagne, who had a poor game against the Gaurs, with Aakash Sangwan. Besides that, goalkeeper Debjit Majumder is expected to be back after serving his suspension, replacing Devansh Dabas.
East Bengal (4-4-2): Kamaljit Singh; Sarthak Golui, Ivan Gonzalez, Lalchungnunga, Jerry Lalrinzuala; Aniket Jadhav, Jordan O’Doherty, Charalampos Kyriakou, Naorem Mahesh Singh; Cleiton Silva, Thongkhosiem Haokip.
Chennaiyin (4-4-2): Debjit Majumder; Ajith Kumar, Vafa Hakhamaneshi, Aakash Sangwan, Narayan Das; Jiteshwor Singh, Julius Duker, Anirudh Thapa, Rahim Ali; Kwame Karikari, Petar Sliskovic.
Though head-to-head records are totally inclined in favour of a draw, Chennaiyin has a better squad in comparison with East Bengal. Hence, we have predicted the Marina Machans to eke out a victory in this fixture.