Even in this unpredictable start to the Hero ISL you’d have to back Chennaiyin FC to win this one, right?
If you ignore the first half of the opening match, John Gregory’s Chennaiyin side have been excellent for two and a half matches and very much deserve their place tied at the top with six points.
Teddy Sheringham’s side seem to be on the verge of self-combusting, although a win would make things look very different indeed. A 0-0 draw with Kerala on the opening day was thought to be a good base from which to start, but then back-to-back defeats (including a 4-1 humiliation) mean that ATK sit bottom with a single point. Add in the rumoured departure of Technical Director Ashley Westwood and the long-term injury to Lyngdoh and ATK have problems. Sheringham hoped that Robbie Keane might be ready to return today, but that has been ruled out.
This is a battle of the only two clubs to win the ISL and a lot will depend on the performance of Chennaiyin’s main man Rafael Augusto. The Brazilian has two goals this season. ATK could well recall Njazi Kuqi in place of the ineffective Robin Singh and are expected to select Caldeira in place of Lyngdoh.
Both teams will be hoping for the victory for entirely different reasons – defeat could see ATK detached at the bottom and raise questions over Sheringham’s managerial capabilities and a victory for Chennaiyin could see them clear at the top come the end of this round of matches.