It's going from bad to worse for defending Indian Super League champions Chennaiyin FC with just a few league games left for ISL 2016. For the first time over three seasons, the MS Dhoni co-owned side could fail to make it to the ISL semis if they do not improve on their present performance.
With five league games remaining for them, Chennaiyin FC lie in the seventh spot in table and they do not have a win from their last five games; the previous two matches ending in defeats. On Tuesday, they will nevertheless try on improving on their current run of form as they get set to take on FC Pune City at the Marina Arena.
The Pune franchisee, are fifth in the league table and have two consecutive wins at the moment. The return of midfield maestro Eugeneson Lyngdoh, following his AFC Cup 2016 commitments with Bengaluru FC, has given a fresh dose of life to the Antonio Habas coached FC Pune City.
The Indian star came on in the second half for his side in their previous fixture against Mumbai City FC in the return leg of the Maharashtra Derby and scored the all-important goal and gave the Hrithik Roshan co-owned FC Pune City a win over their derby rivals.
"Eugene is a big player but for me, he is one of the players at my disposal," mentioned Habas. "I give certain responsibilities to all the players on the pitch. He is a big player and he will give more but he is one important player in our squad. That's it."
More than Pune, it is the home side which needs some fresh life inside them at the moment and Chennaiyin FC coach Marco Materazzi has asked the fans of the team to be at their back in this challenging time. "We'll keep on fighting and we will do anything we can for Chennaiyin but maybe you [fans] can help out as well by turning up as 30,000 [people] in the crowd can help as well," said the Italian ahead of the match.
"I have been a fan as well when I was a kid but a good fan is one who is there when the team is in need. It is easy to cheer us when we are winning but we need them to cheer for us when we are in a bad moment," the World Cup winner added.
Head to head record
FC Pune City 0-3 Chennaiyin FC; two games drawn
Chennaiyin FC vs FC Pune City is scheduled to kick off at 7 pm IST (2.30 pm BST) on November 15.
Where to watch live
India: TV - Star Sports 1/HD1, Star Sports 2/HD2, Star Sports 3/HD3
Star Gold, Star Utsav (Hindi)
Jalsha Movies (Bengali)
Asianet Movies (Malayalam)
Asianet Suvarna Plus (Kannada)
Live streaming - Hotstar.
Europe: TV - Star Gold
Australia, USA: TV - Fox Sports
Canada: TV - CBN, ATN Bangla
Bangladesh: TV - Channel 9
South-East Asia: TV - Eurosport
Live score - Twitter