Goa vs Chennaiyin: Preview and Prediction

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Noah Sadaoui has been in fine form of late for Goa

The second knockouts of the Indian Super League season will see Goa take on Chennaiyin at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Saturday from 7:30 PM IST onwards. It will be a battle between the third and sixth-placed teams in the league to decide who will be taking on Mumbai City in the semi-final.

Goa bagged 45 points from 22 games and will be carrying the disappointment of not winning the Shield despite a phenomenally strong start. The Gaurs went 11 games unbeaten since the start of the league, but then Manolo Marquez’s men lost 3 games on the trot, ultimately losing the steam to keep pushing Mumbai City and Mohun Bagan Super Giant. 

The Gaurs’ head coach Marquez feels that his side is up for the fight on Saturday while Noah Sadaoui declined to comment on his future at the pre-match press conference.

Marquez said,

“Chennaiyin was better than us in the beginning of the game on Sunday but we know that we have the capacity and the players to score one or even three goals within 10 minutes. We enter the pitch knowing that we are facing a strong team but we are also a very good team.”

Chennaiyin’s run into the knockouts has been nothing short of historic, as Owen Coyle’s men looked down and out at one point in the league but then became the first team in history to register three consecutive comeback wins to seal their spot at East Bengal’s expense. With 27 points from 22 games, the Marina Machans have made a habit of upsetting the odds this season but have also failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 8 games. 

An away game to Goa will be a proper test of their calibre, but the Chennaiyin faithful will not attach much weight to the thrashing they received at the hands of the same opposition a few days back as they had nothing to play for. 

Jordan Murray has been the highest scorer for the Marina Machans this season but they have had goalscoring contributions from across the pitch, with Rafael Crivellaro having 7 assists to his name. A potent combination of the duo could unlock Goa’s defense on Saturday, which has shipped in just 21 goals this season, the second-lowest in the league.

Current Form

The Gaurs will take confidence from the fact that they haven’t lost in their last 7 fixtures, picking 17 points from the 21 on offer. In fact, they thoroughly outplayed the same opposition in their last league clash, which should further boost their morale. 

The duo of Carlos Martinez and Noah Sadaoui who have both scored 10 goals each in the league have also found form of late, much to the glee of the Goa faithful.

Goa last lost a game away to Kerala Blasters way back on 25th February, and since then have looked solid on the pitch. They are currently on a 4-game winning streak, defeating Bengaluru 2-1, Hyderabad 4-0, Jamshedpur 3-2, and Chennaiyin 4-1.

Before their loss to Goa, the Marina Machans picked up three wins on the bounce defeating Mohun Bagan Super Giant 3-2, Jamshedpur 2-1, and North East United 2-1 as well to qualify for the playoffs.

Head to Head Record

The two sides have faced each other 26 times, with Goa leading the race with 15 wins and Chennaiyin notching 9 wins thus far.

Interestingly, Goa did the double over the two-time ISL champions this season by also defeating the Marina Machans 0-3 in the reverse leg in Chennai as Boris Singh, Rowllin Borges, and Udanta Singh found the back of the net in November.

Team News

The Owen Coyle effect has been magical for Chennaiyin

For Goa, Nim Dorjee will be available for selection as he returns after serving his suspension for picking up 4 yellow cards.

For Chennaiyin, Sachu Siby will be unavailable as he picked up a red card in the 4-1 loss to Goa in their last league fixture and Ankit Mukherjee might return to action after being left out of the squad against Goa.

Predicted Starting XIs

Goa (4-2-3-1): Dheeraj Singh; Seriton Fernandes, Odie Onaindia, Nim Dorjee Tamang, Jay Gupta; Carl McHugh, Rowllin Borges; Boris Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Noah Sadaoui; Carlos Martinez

Chennaiyin (4-2-3-1): Debjit Majumder; Ankit Mukherjee, Sarthak Golui, Ryan Edwards, Aakash Sangwan; Connor Shields, Jiteshwor Singh; Vincy Barretto, Rafael Crivellaro, Farukh Choudhary; Jordan Murray


Goa at home is always a massive challenge, and given the fact that this is the first time they have made it into the playoffs in 3 seasons, the Gaurs will be up for the challenge and are definitely the favorites. 

However, one can never write off an Owen Coyle side and a feisty fight is on the cards for Saturday evening.