CFC occupies the penultimate spot on the table while HFC is last
Hyderabad is at the bottom of the table with five points from 11 matches and is in dire need of a win. Chennaiyin, placed a spot above HFC with nine points from 10 games, is equally desperate for the three points on offer. Visitor CFC, which most recently went down 1-2 to Odisha FC, needs a victory to ensure its slim hopes of getting a top-four spot are not extinguished.
“I think it is a very important game for both teams. When I look at Hyderabad, it has been unlucky. In some matches, it played good football but had a little bit of bad luck. We certainly know that it is a far better team than what its league position suggests,” said Chennaiyin head coach Owen Coyle.
Under Scotsman Coyle, CFC has won once, drawn once and lost twice. Home side HFC has had a forgettable debut season in ISL so far. It has just one win to its name and has the worst defensive record, having shipped in 26 goals already. Hyderabad is yet to keep a clean sheet and is coming off a poor outing against Kerala Blasters, where it lost 1-5.
It was the second time HFC conceded five goals in a match this season. Hyderabad was defeated by Chennaiyin 1-2 away from home earlier in ISL 6, but head coach Phil Brown is confident of an improved show in the reverse leg.
“The only positive thing is our home performance. Our home results are not that bad. We have got tremendous support. I think we have rewarded the fans with some good performances. The next three home games will give us an idea of where we will be at the end of this campaign,” said Brown.
Englishman Brown has not been helped by injuries to his key players throughout the season with the latest being central defender Rafael Lopez, who had to be stretchered off against Kerala in Kochi.