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Chennaiyin 0-0 Kerala Blasters
KICK-OFF: Nov 29, 7.30PM (IST) (GMT +5.30)
Channel: Star Sports HD1, Star Sports 1, Star Sports 3.
Streaming: Hotstar, Jio TV.
Highlights: Click Here
Venue: Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai.
In what is being billed as the Southern Derby, Chennaiyin will play against Kerala Blasters at the Marina Arena.
Chennaiyin go into this game on the back of a crushing defeat against Jamshedpur FC. Their only win this season was before the international break against fellow bottom stragglers FC Pune City. The win will seem a long time ago, but in the list of teams they should be able to beat, Kerala Blasters is one of them.
Their top scorer is the journeyman Thoi Singh (3 goals) and that speaks volumes about their forwards Jeje and Carlos Salom who have a single goal amongst them.
Chennaiyin’s season from this point on is essentially one where they have to play for pride. With the par score to qualify for the play-off position over 30 points, they will have to literally win the rest of their games to make it to the top 4.
Kerala Blasters, on the other hand, have thrown games away from winning positions. In their last game against Northeast United, they had the game almost in the bag only to go on and lose in second-half stoppage time. They travel to Chennai on the back of three consecutive defeats. Prior to that, they drew four games. In fact, their only win so far came on the opening day of the season against ATK.
It’s quite possible for Kerala to score a goal today with their Serbian-Slovenian forward duo of Stojanovic and Poplatnik. The Indian players Halicharan Narzary, Len Doungel and Sahal Badul Samad have performed reasonably well.
But they are also prone to conceding goals from sudden lapses in concentration. All in all, there is a high probability this match ends up in a score draw or a narrow win for Kerala.
FULL-TIME: Chennaiyin 0-0 Kerala Blasters
The Southern Derby turned out to be a damp squib with the two teams so short on confidence they spurned multiple goal-scoring opportunities.
In a game of two halves, Chennaiyin dominated the first half with everything flowing through Raphael Augusto. As early as in the third minute, Raphael Augusto setup Isaac Vanmalsawma to score a tap-in, but Isaac kneed the ball wide.
Courtesy: Grey Area Analytics
The Expected Goals graph shows Thoi Singh and Andrea Orlandi had multiple shots on goal which they either hit wide or were saved by the Kerala keeper Dheeraj Singh who had a blinder of a game. Thoi Singh was especially guilty of missing an easy chance to score after being set up by Jeje on the break.
Kerala Blasters did not show up in the first half. They barely got out of their own half and the couple of times they did, they shot high and wide. Their Running Sum xG through the first half is essentially a flat line showcasing how little they created.
In the second half, Kerala finally decided they would compete in this game. A left-footed shot early in the second half by Sahal Abdul Samad was saved by Dheeraj Singh. The introduction of Len Doungel saw a shift in momentum in favour of Kerala. The Manipur winger got at the end of two fantastic chances only to miss both of them with one of his attempts hitting the post.
A late chance fell for the Kerala forward Matej Poplatnik from close range only for him to head it wide.
Kerala were positive going forward late in the second half as evidenced by the surge in their Running Sum line graph. The chances themselves show up as spikes on the xG graph showcasing the quality of chances they missed out on.
The poor form and lack of confidence from both teams resulted in a tame draw in a game either team could’ve won. The only positive for Chennai is that they picked up their first point at home, but the draw in itself puts Chennai in a worse position and pretty much puts the play-off positions out of reach.