elano chennaiyin fc
Can Chennaiyin FC really have something to cheer after today's game?ISL website

On paper, a match between Chennaiyin FC and Kerala Blasters is a mouthwatering prospect. The South Indian football derby is one of the biggest fixtures in the Indian Super League, and is definitely one of the most-watched games of the tournament.

And being a Saturday, expect the match at the Marina Arena to be cheered by the Indian football fans to the fullest. 

Chennaiyin FC take on Kerala Blasters in the ISL for the second time this year in what is the most crucial game of the season for both teams. It is only unfortunate that these two big teams are languishing at the bottom of the table. But, make no mistake, a win on the day is expected to give the victors tremendous confidence going ahead.

Ten games done, four to go. While Abhishek Bachchan's Chennaiyin FC remain the rockbottom in the table at the moment with ten points, Sachin Tendulkar's Kerala Blasters remain a position higher in the table with 11 points.

Kerala come into this game to the backdrop of a stunning 4-1 victory against NorthEast United FC, but Chennaiyin FC have lost three games on the trot, and they have to regain their confidence at the earliest, if they want to emulate their last year's form.

Chennaiyin FC were the regular league leaders last year, and this time the scenario is the opposite. For Marco Materazzi, the trio of Fikru Teferra, Stiven Mendoza and Elano Blumer, haven't quite gelled together, and the Italian has to take some crucial decisions today.

Materazzi isn't also expecting much about his team's chances of making it to the playoffs this season.

"Physically, my players are in very good condition. They played a full match against [Atletico de] Kolkata with high intensity," the World Cup winner with Italy, said in the pre-match briefing. "On the other hand, other teams have been having some issues. So, there isn't much to say about the expectations of qualification.

"We just have to face one game at a time and hope to win the next game and after that we'll think about the next game," he explained.

Meanwhile, the appointment of Terry Phelan as the head coach mid-season has really worked wonders for Kerala Blasters. After four continuous losses earlier this season, the finalists of last year came back to win two games from their previous four games.

"There's plenty of confidence in the team. We're just coming off a great result against NorthEast and that gives us confidence," Phelan said. "It's very tight at the moment and it's a must win for both of us.

"But they're [Chennaiyin FC] the home team. They will come at us and I'm sure that with the players we've got, we can get a result. It's going to be a wee bit nerve-wracking at the start but it's up to the players to enjoy it," the Brit added.

Kerala Blasters have struggled to find a replacement for marquee player Carlos Marchena as well as star forward Sanchez Watt; the duo has been sidelined for the entire season. Antonio German stepped up in the last game in the absence of Watt, and the Englishman will again be expected to play a key role in today's high-volatile clash.

Where to watch the game live

The Saturday night ISL action between Chennaiyin FC and Kerala Blasters is scheduled to kick-off at 7 pm IST (2.30 pm BST, 9.30 am ET).

Viewers in India can catch the game on Star Sports 2, Star Sports HD2, Star Sports 3,Star Sports HD3, Star Utsav, Star Gold (both Hindi), Asianet Movies (Malayalam),Jaya Max (Tamil), Suvarna TV (Kannada) and Jalsha Movies (Bengali). The live streaming is available on Starsports.com and Hotstar.

Viewers in the UK, South East Asia, Singapore, and Hong Kong can catch the game on Star Gold.

Viewers in Canada can watch the game on CBN and ATN.

Viewers in the US and Australia can tune in to Fox Sports. The live streaming is available onFoxsoccer2Go and Foxtel.

Eurosport remains the destination for the viewers in Europe. The live streaming is available on Eurosport Player.

Audience in the Middle East and North Africa can also catch the ISL game on OSN, with live streaming option on OSN Play.

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