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Federation Cup 2017 Preview: Chennai City vs Churchill Brothers - Southerners look to shatter Churchill’s cup dream

Goal.com logo Goal.com 10-05-2017

After an eighth-placed finish in their debut I-League season, Chennai City were hopeful of striking good form in the Federation Cup 2017. Instead, they started the tournament with a 2-3 loss to I-League champions Aizawl FC. A 1-2 defeat to East Bengal ensued a day later to confirm the Southerners’ exit from the tournament.

Meanwhile Churchill’s outing in the tournament hasn’t gone as well as they would have liked. They did hold The Red and Golds to a 1-1 draw but a last gasp goal from the league champions Aizawl in the second game condemned the Goa-based team to a defeat.

Chennai will only have pride to play for when they face Churchill in their last game of the tournament. Coach V. Soundararajan just hasn’t been able to deliver what was expected of him and the players too haven't shown the required resolve.

Chennai are expected to field a similar looking XI to try and go out with a bang. Striker Charles de Souza remains their only dangerous outlet in attack. Defender Abhishek Das will hope to continue the good run he’s put in for his side but it’d be a pity if his teammates fail to respond and bow out with a win.

Churchill Brothers will look to take the attack to Chennai with the game being a must-win proposition for them. They stand a chance to gain entry to the knockout stage. The onus is on the Red Machine to attack and win the game.

When these two teams met in the league, the Southerners grabbed a point at home but were battered 6-1 in the away game only a few weeks ago. A repeat of that performance wouldn’t go amiss in the current scenario for Churchill, where goal difference could prove to be vital in determining progress from the group.

The result Churchill Brothers need in order to beat East Bengal to the knockout stage:

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Even if Churchill Brothers win their last game of the group stage, their entry to the knockout stage will depend on the top of the table clash that kicks off a few hours later. In order for the Goa side to progress, Aizawl should win their last group game against East Bengal.

Churchill is on a solitary point while the Red and Golds have notched four points from two games. A Churchill win and an East Bengal defeat will place both of them on four points and if they manage to win the battle of goal difference (Churchill is on -1 while East Bengal is on +2), they knock East Bengal out to go through to the next round.

TEAM NEWS

In their usual 4-4-1-1, Charles and Soosai Raj will lead the attack with Nandhakumar and Edwin out on the flanks. Zakeer and Ganesh will look to anchor the midfield, screening a backline of Debabrata, Ravanan, Echezona and Das with Karanjit in goal.

For Churchill, the important news is that Anthony Wolfe is still doubtful but Derrick Pereira might have him on the bench. In a 4-3-3 which could become 4-5-1 in transition, Ansumana Kromah will lead the line with Lyngdoh and Fernandes assisting from the wings. Surchandra Singh will come in as the additional midfielder alongside Bektur Talgat and Richard Costa. The defence in front of Naveen is expected to be unchanged.

PREDICTED LINE-UPS

The match is scheduled to kick off at 4PM IST at Barabati Stadium, Cuttack

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