ISL 2021-22: Chennai will try to reach the top of the points table, Bangalore's challenge will be in front

Chennaiyin FC will be eyeing to become the league leader in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021 - 22 but to reach the target, they will have to take on a challenge from Bengaluru FC, buoyed by a strong performance. Both teams will take on the GMC Athletic Stadium in Bambolin for the Southern Derby on Wednesday. Chennai are fourth in the table with 18 points from 12 matches. 

ISL 2021-22 chennai

A win on Republic Day would put them above the top three teams Jamshedpur FC, Kerala Blasters FC and Hyderabad FC. But to jump higher on the table, Bojidar Bandovic's side will have to thrash Bengaluru FC, who had drawn a draw in their previous match and overcame off-field odds.

The Blues did not train for a week and did not get the opportunity to prepare against FC Goa, but Sunil Chhetri's first goal of the season helped Bengaluru win the match against Goa. Bengaluru are ranked eighth and a win will move them closer to the top four teams. Coach Marco Pezzoulli will be happy with Chhetri's goal-dry end. The Indian skipper was put on the bench after a dismal start to the season, but made a strong comeback in the last match.

However, Pezzoulli will be worried about his team's growing list of injured players. The German strategist said on the eve of the match, "We have some problems in terms of personnel. Ashik (Kuruniyan) was hurt after a sprint, there is a question mark about Klyton (Silva), and we are not sure what. (Yrondu) Musavu-King can play again this season as we have to assess his injury."

On the other hand, Chennaiyin was given victory by scoring a goal in the last match by Vladimir Koman while returning from injury. The Hungarian midfielder is now their leading scorer in this campaign with three goals. Bandovic would like to work on his team's sharpness in the last third as well. The Ukrainian-born Hungarian attacking midfielder has scored three goals for the team. Bandovic would like to work on sharpening the team's attacks in the final third.

Bandovic has revealed that talented winger Lallianzuala Chhangte may not be a part of his team. "I am not playing Chhangte for strategic reasons. The player's contract is expiring and it is now up to the player's decision," he said. The last time these two South Indian rivals clashed in the first half of the season, Bengaluru won 4-2 in a high-scoring encounter.

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