Chennai take on bottom-placed Aizawl in bid to extend lead (Preview)
Aizawl : After a confidence-boosting victory against East Bengal, Chennai City FC will look to extend their lead and stay at the top with a win against a subdued Aizawl FC in the 12th I-League football meet here on Saturday.
Chennai have been, by far, the most impressive side of the league, notching up three wins out of four and remaining unbeaten with 10 points.
Former champions Aizawl, on the other hand, are yet to win a match and have crashed to two defeats and managed two draws in the four games they have played so far.
Gift Raikhan, the coach of the home side, who had such a wonderful run with debutants Neroca FC in the last edition, has found the going comparatively tough at Aizawl, with his three main goal scorers scoring just three goals between them, two of which came via the penalty spot.
Three of the four Aizawl goals, in this campaign, have come from set pieces, further indicating a complete lack of ideas up front.
The Aizawl coach seemed well aware of the task at hand confiding, "The result has not been good enough. We need to regroup and approach together on the pitch. The boys are a little bit down because of the results. But collectively we will work hard and give our best tomorrow. Football is a team game and we should believe in one another."
Contrastingly for Chennai and their new coach Akbar Nawas, it has been a dream start to their campaign.
Not only have they scored 11 times - four more than second best Gokulam, and notched up three victories, their Spanish signings have been on fire, with Pedro Manzi sitting on top of the goal scoring chart with four goals to his name and left winger Nestor Jesus, fast emerging as the star of this season.
The affable looking Spaniard has not only scored twice but has also initiated many a goal-scoring move and along with his countryman Sandro, controlled games from the midfield, with elan.
Coach Nawas acknowledged the role played by the Spaniards in the pre-game chat elaborating: "Yes, the Spanish players are doing well but they can improve further in the style that we are playing."
Given the circumstances both sides find themselves in, the hosts, unless they turn things around dramatically, will find it difficult to come away with a positive result on Saturday.
The visitors will, however, be eyeing nothing short of a victory to secure a wonderful run of three consecutive away wins.