Csaba Laszlo-coached Chennaiyin, which has earned 14 points from 11 fixtures, comes into the contest on the back of a 2-1 success against Odisha FC (OFC). CFC’s opponent SCEB is on a six-game unbeaten run and has secured 11 points from as many matches.
Up against a side that is high on confidence, two-time ISL winner Chennaiyin will have its task cut out. But, CFC head coach Laszlo stressed that his boys have the quality to come out on top against East Bengal.
“We have our strengths in midfield. If we stay compact, we can win the match. In the last few games, we have stabilised our side. I know that we are capable of winning and I have the confidence in my team,” said Laszlo at the pre-match presser.
Following a barren run in front of goal, Chennaiyin netted twice against Odisha as Esmael ‘Isma’ Goncalves struck a brace on his comeback to the starting line-up. Laszlo would hope for similar attacking returns from his forward line, which comprises Rahim Ali, Jakub Sylvestr, Lallianzuala Chhangte and Fatkhulo Fatkhulloev besides Isma.
Meanwhile, the CFC boss wants his midfielders and defenders to step up in the upcoming matches. “We scored two goals in the last game and I was happy with the performance. But, we need to pay a little bit more attention to midfield and defence. We need to improve the movement off the ball,” added 56-year-old Laszlo, ahead of the clash against Robbie Fowler’s men.
Having come from behind twice in the reverse fixture to snatch a point, East Bengal, the designated ‘away’ team, will also fancy its chances. “There are a lot of points to play for. Until it becomes mathematically impossible for us to qualify for the play-offs, we will believe that we can make it to the top-four,” Fowler told reporters.