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Goa v Chennaiyin FC, Matchday 1

Goa will host Chennaiyin in the Indian Super League on Wednesday, 23rd October. Kick-off is scheduled for 7.30 pm local time.

India Bet Highlights

  • Goa are partly owned by the Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli.
  • Goa is the only state in India which regards football as its official sport.
  • Chennaiyin are managed by John Gregory, former player and manager with Aston Villa, Queens Park Rangers and Derby County.
  • These two sides met in the 2019 Indian Cup final, Goa winning 2 -1 to secure their first ever major trophy.

Goa

Goa had a successful season last year. They finished second in the table during the regular season, tied on points with Bengaluru, and, after beating Mumbai City in the two-legged play-off semi-final, only lost to Bengaluru 1- 0, conceding deep into extra time in the final. They also won the Indian Cup.

The squad is largely unchanged from last season, and the emphasis of the team remains very much on attack. Spanish striker Ferran Corominas, who used to play for the likes of Espanyol and Málaga, will once again lead the line, and, having scored 41 goals in his 47 appearances for the club, they will be looking for another good return from him. He will expect to get good support from his fellow Spaniard Edu Bedia who, as a younger man, was capped by his country at under-20, and under-21 level.

They are also strong at the back where the Senegalese Mortada Fall, and another Spaniard Carlos Peňa will protect the heart of their defence.

Goa’s one failing last season was a tendency to lose possession at key moments. If they can guard against that, they should have another strong season.

Chennaiyin

Chennaiyin had a very poor campaign last season, finishing bottom of the table with just 9 points, winning just twice, and finishing six points below the team that finished above them, Kerala Blasters.

To try and make sure there is no repeat of that this time round, the squad has been heavily revamped, with new additions in the shape of strikers Lithuanian Nerijus Vlaski and Maltese Andre Schembri, Brazilian midfielder Rafael Crivellaro, and Romanian Dragoş Firţulescu all joining the club. They have also secured the services of forward Lallianzuala Chhangte from Odisha (formerly the Delhi Dynamos).

The new men should help bolster an attack that managed only 16 goals last season, but their problems were just as much at the other end of the pitch where they let in 32, two more than the now disbanded Pune City. Unless Gregory and his team fix that problem, then they could struggle again this season.

Final Thoughts

This is a match between arguably the league’s best attack last season against what was undoubtedly the worst defence. Whilst Chennaiyin have looked to strengthen during the close season, it will take time for the new additions to settle in, and for the team to find a defined style of play. Against Goa’s settled squad, it is hard to look beyond a home win. Goa won the corresponding match last season 1 – 0 back in February, and Chennaiyin will have done well to keep the score as tight this time round.

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