Chennaiyin FC and FC Goa – the two finalists of last season – have not had the greatest of starts to ISL 2016. Both teams will hope that changes when they clash at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Thursday.
Controversy could be the name of the game in this match if their last clash against each other is anything to go by. In what was one of the most hard-fought, controversial matches in ISL history, Chennaiyin came away with a victory to clinch their first Indian Super League title.
Goa, who felt aggrieved by that result, will want to avenge that defeat, so motivating the players will not be much of a problem for the manager Zico, even if the Brazilian insisted revenge is not what his team are after.
"I do not think about the past," Zico said. "What is past is past and nothing can motivate me from the past. We are prepared and will play for a good result. We didn't play badly but we didn't get a good result but we will play a good match."
Goa could really use a good match, because they have ended up on the losing side in both their games so far in the new Indian Super League season. With all the other teams strengthening considerably and putting up quite a few impressive performances, Zico's side cannot afford to suffer a third straight defeat.
Marco Materazzi's Chennaiyin haven't made a great start either, picking up just one point so far from their two matches. Their last game was a disaster, when the Delhi Dynamos ran rings around them in Chennai.
It is clear Chennaiyin are missing the services of Stiven Mendoza and Elano, but Materazzi needs to find a way to get the best from his team, in term of attack. While the defence hasn't been great either – they have conceded five goals in two matches – you feel, knowing the strengths of the manager, that area of the team will be sorted out soon.
"It is very important to bounce back," Materazzi told reporters. "Last year we were in a worse position than now. We have to show that we still have it and we can do it.
"I always say, you win as a team, you lose as a team. It's not about individuals. They need to have that mentality. Even if you have the tactical or technical skills, you need to fight to get that win. This, I will tell my players before the match that they have to show the hunger and will to win."
Where to Watch Live
Chennai vs Goa is scheduled for a 7pm IST (2.30pm BST, 9.30am ET) start. Live Streaming and TV information can be found below.
India: TV: Star Sports 1/HD1, Star Gold, Asianet Movies, Jalsha Movies. Live Streaming: Hotstar (also available in other countries).
USA and Australia: TV: Fox Sports.
Canada: TV: CBN, ATN.
South-East Asia: TV: Eurosport.
UK: TV: Star Gold.
Europe: TV: EuroSport.