ISL: Chennaiyin, Bengaluru hope to regain form in southern face-off

The sparks are expected to fly when southern foes Chennaiyin FC and Bengaluru FC hunt for a crucial three points in an Indian Super League 2021-22 fixture at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco on Thursday
Chennaiyin FC players go through the paces ahead of the Bengaluru FC match
Chennaiyin FC players go through the paces ahead of the Bengaluru FC match
Former champions Chennaiyin and Bengaluru are going through a rough patch, with both hoping to hand themselves an early New Year present. ISL 2015 and 2017-18 title-winner CFC (11 points from 7 matches) has collected only 5 points from its last 5 clashes while Season 5 victor BFC (6 points from 8 matches) is on a seven-match winless streak.
Chennaiyin head coach Bozidar Bandovic is focused on getting his team back to winning ways, having been torn asunder during the demoralising 0-3 defeat to Kerala Blasters FC in its previous encounter last week. “We had a week to recover and prepare, so we need to be ready,” said Bandovic at the pre-match media interaction on Wednesday.
“Bengaluru is a strong team; it is dangerous in set-pieces. It has won just one match, but it is still a dangerous team. We are coming into this game on the back of a loss, but I am sure that we will do better [against BFC],” added Montenegrin boss Bandovic.
“We have made many mistakes and conceded many goals [in recent matches], but the worst thing is to blame the players. I am happy with my team and players; they give everything [on the pitch] and work very hard. It is going to be a big challenge until the end.” When asked if CFC would reinforce its squad in the winter transfer window, which will open in two days, Bandovic was tight-lipped and gave nothing away.
“I work as if I am going to stay at the club for five years. I always think about the future. In the coming days, the club will make announcements. You will know what we spoke and decided [regarding the activity in January 2022],” said Bandovic, who also stated that long-term absentee Rafael Crivellaro is yet to return to training since incurring a muscle injury.
Wednesday’s result: ATK Mohun Bagan 2 (L Colaco 23, R Krishna 56) bt FC Goa 1 (J Ortiz 81)

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