Hyderabad, January 9, 2020: Chennaiyin FC take on Hyderabad FC on the road in search of their first away win of the Hero Indian Super League season at the GMC Balayogi Athletic Stadium here on Friday.
CFC take on Hyderabad, who are below them and at the bottom of the ISL table, themselves looking to arrest an eight-game winless run. Having lost 2-0 to Odisha FC away three days back, Chennaiyin will be aiming to put their top four hopes back on track with a win at struggling HFC.
It was against Phil Brown’s Hyderabad side that CFC broke their duck in the most dramatic fashion earlier in the season. Having not scored or won after their opening four games, CFC opened their account with Andre Schembri’s well-taken goal in the 92nd minute, only to be pegged back by HFC three minutes later. But there was a further twist on the night, as Nerijus Valskis scored the winner in the 96th minute to send the CFC faithful into raptures.
This time around, Head Coach Owen Coyle will be hoping for a more comfortable victory. After the HFC win, Valskis and Schembri have scored eight goals between them and been involved in most of CFC’s good work going forward along with the likes of Lallianzuala Chhangte and playmaker Rafael Crivellaro. Valskis will also be determined to make amends for the penalty he missed against Odisha in the previous game.
In terms of team news, Chennaiyin are boosted by the return of Edwin Vanspaul at right-back, the versatile Tamil Nadu man having been a standout performer this season. As for Hyderabad, they have been hit my multiple injuries through the course of the season, and look set to miss defender Rafael Lopez against CFC as well.
CFC will not underestimate HFC, and will be wary of the latter’s attackers, that will include the likes of Marcelinho, Nestor Benitez and striker Bobo who has five goals to his name.
Owen Coyle in his pre-match press conference, further reiterated the importance of eradicating defensive errors. He urged his troops to fight hard and make a charge towards the play-off positions with a win over Hyderabad, that would also register a first away victory of what has been a stop-start season so far.
“The teams at the top have been doing very well, accumulating a lot of points among them, but the fourth spot is up for grabs. We believe we are one among those teams fighting for that spot and we can achieve that. But to do that we have to start consistently winning games and what he have to do is start to win away from home, so we have to start to ensure that we are at our best.”