Chennaiyin FC could be on the brink of making their place in the final of the Indian Super League for the first time. The Super Machans hold a huge 3-0 lead over defending champions Atletico de Kolkata going into their ISL 2015 semi final second leg game on Wednesday, 16 December.
Will the immense home support at the Salt Lake Stadium in the City of Joy inspire the champions to make a massive turnaround on match day? That remains the biggest question now.
The strategy of ATK coach Antonio Habas will be crucial in inspiring his side to go for the kill on Wednesday. The Spanish coach has been in a situation like this before as well, and his experience will count now. Meanwhile, the home side has a huge worry as star midfielder Borja Fernandez looks doubtlful for the game.
The Spanish midfield maestro suffered a hamstring injury in the first leg match in Pune last week, and had to be substituted in the first half iteself. Borja didn't even participate in the team practice on Monday. Utility player Oftense Nato too picked up a late injury and couldn't participate in the training with the team.
ATK go into the game with massive pressure on their shoulders, and Marco Materazzi's side will surely be looking to capitalise on that. However, the Italian World Cup winner wants to tread with caution. "You can never know what will happen. They have a good team and in Kolkata, they have 60-70,000 people supporting them. So we will wait till the next game," Materazzi said after the last game. "I wish I could chill and relax but I don't think you can do that and you have to wait till the last minute."
For Antonio Habas, staying positive has forever remained the key. "We have 90 minutes more [in Kolkata]. We conceded three goals today, we can also score three then. Let's see," Habas said after ATK's defeat in the first leg.
One thing is for sure, the match is set to be a cracker in every sense of the word!
Atletico de Kolkata vs Chennaiyin FC schedule:
TV listings: Star Sports 2/HD 2, Star Sports 3/HD 3 [English feed] (India), Star Gold (UK), US (Fox Sports).
Date: 16 December, 2015.
Time: 7 pm IST.
Venue: Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata.