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ISL 2023-24: Bengaluru FC aims to rediscover form against southern rival Chennaiyin FC

In a much-anticipated matchup of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season, Bengaluru FC is set to square off against southern rivals Chennaiyin FC at the iconic Sree Kanteerava Stadium.

Football ISL 2023-24: Bengaluru FC aims to rediscover form against southern rival Chennaiyin FC osf
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First Published Feb 7, 2024, 10:20 AM IST

On February 7, Bengaluru FC will face off against their southern counterpart, Chennaiyin FC, at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, marking the resumption of their campaign in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season. The highly anticipated fixture, set to kick off at 7:30 p.m. (IST), holds significant historical importance, given their previous clash in the 2017-18 season final, where Chennaiyin FC emerged victorious in a thrilling 3-2 encounter.

Both teams find themselves in challenging situations, with Bengaluru FC suffering a 3-1 defeat to Punjab FC in their recent match, raising concerns about their defensive capabilities despite recent reinforcements. Chennaiyin FC, having secured 12 points in the initial leg of the campaign, aims to build upon their success with additional signings, notably the loan acquisition of Mobashir Rahman.

What's at Stake?

For Bengaluru FC, there is a notable expectation to live up to the fans' and owners' expectations after making significant moves in the transfer market. Despite past departures, the team, which reached the ISL final last year, faces the challenge of finding their form against Chennaiyin FC, a team they have defeated seven times in previous ISL seasons.

Chennaiyin FC, having won three matches in the opening leg, including a 2-0 victory over Bengaluru FC, aims to break their pattern of never winning twice consecutively in this fixture. Coach Owen Coyle seeks to address defensive issues, having conceded 22 goals in 12 matches, while relying on promising forwards like Jordan Murray, Rafael Crivellaro, and Connor Shields.

Key Players to Watch

Oliver Drost (Bengaluru FC): The Danish forward, a winter transfer market addition, brings an element of surprise to Bengaluru FC's attack. With a reputation for quick and dynamic play in the final third, Drost aims to complement key players like Sunil Chhetri and Javi Hernandez, potentially influencing a turnaround for Bengaluru FC.

Ninthoinganba Meetei (Chennaiyin FC): The young talent has shone under Coach Coyle, showcasing efficiency in gameplay with two goals in nine appearances. Meetei's pace, passing, and ability to create goal-scoring opportunities make him a crucial player for Chennaiyin FC, especially in the upcoming game against Bengaluru FC.

Head-to-Head Stats:

Played: 14
Bengaluru FC Wins: 7
Chennaiyin FC Wins: 4
Draws: 3

Team Talk:

Bengaluru FC Head Coach Gerard Zaragoza aims to lift the team's spirits after the recent loss and emphasises the hunger to fight for success. Chennaiyin FC Head Coach Owen Coyle expresses excitement about the upcoming matches, emphasising the opportunity to secure a playoff spot and determine their fate in the top six.

Also Read: Shah Rukh Khan plays football with AbRam, Aaryan Khan at Mannat garden; video goes viral [WATCH]

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