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ISL 2022-23: Chennayin FC and ATK Mohun Bagan clash with desperation to take full 3 points

ISL 2022-23: Matchday 16 of the tournament continues, as Chennaiyin FC hosts ATK Mohun Bagan on Saturday. Both teams would be desperate to take all three points while they stay in the playoffs race.

football Indian Super League 2022-23, CFC vs ATKMB: Chennayin FC and ATK Mohun Bagan clash with desperation to take full 3 points-ayh
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First Published Jan 21, 2023, 9:00 AM IST

Record former two-time champion Chennaiyin FC (CFC) will be enthusiastic about cutting the gap between it and sixth place when it hosts ATK Mohun Bagan (ATKMB) in the 2022-23 Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai. Three points will see the Marina Machans leapfrog rival former champion Bengaluru FC (BFC) and move into seventh place, just a point behind the final playoff spot that FC Goa (FCG) currently occupy. On the other hand, the Mariners will be looking to pull six points out of Goa and propel themselves into third place.

Last week, CFC was on the verge of handing defending champion Hyderabad FC (HFC) its third season defeat before a Bartholomew Ogbeche penalty in the 87th minute saw it dropping a couple of vital points. After being on the road for three straight  ISL contests, CFC will return to the Marina Arena for its subsequent meeting.

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The Marina Machans are winless in their last four matches after drawing three and a loss. Additionally, Thomas Brdaric’s side has been lacking at home this season, winning just one out of six contests in its backyard. Petar Sliskovic has been in fiery form lately for CFC. The striker has scored in three consecutive matches. He is the club’s leading goal scorer this season, with eight goals in 13 games.

“Football is unpredictable. My aim is always to score goals. I tell my players that you can afford to make a few mistakes if you score three goals on average. But it is tough to break the opponent’s will,” said Brdaric. ATKMB will aim to finish in third place during the league phase after it suffered its fourth defeat of the season last week versus MCFC. The Mariners have only bested a couple of their previous five contests.

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In addition, Juan Ferrando’s men have fired blanks in their last two away matches. Having scored just a couple of goals in the previous four contests, ATKMB will face a side that has already beaten it in its opening match. With a powerful squad and a couple of promising signings, the Mariners will be keen to notch their maiden success of 2023.

Dimitri Petratos and Hugo Boumous have been the club’s top goal contributors this season. Both players were on target against FC Goa (FCG) in Matchweek 13. New signing Puitea is wished to maintain his midfield spot alongside Carl McHugh. In contrast, the other new signing Federico Gallego will likely make another substitute appearance at some point in the match.

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“For this game, the team is ready to stick to the same process and mentality. There will be a few minor changes because Chennaiyin is different from Mumbai. It is an important and difficult match because we are playing away. We cannot afford to get distracted from the details we have put out because that is how we have lost games,” said Ferrando.

The two sides have met five times in the ISL. The Mariners have won twice, while the Marina Machans clinched their maiden triumph over ATKMB this season.

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