Coimbatore: Bottom-placed Chennai City host defending champions Aizawl FC in a must-win encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Saturday.
With just two wins in 12 games, the southerners stand on 10 points at the cusp of being relegated and need a victory that can lift them at eight in the table. Aizawl are sixth with 15 points from 10 games.
Winless in the last five matches, three of which were goalless draws, what has hurt them most is their failure to convert most chances into goals.
“We had a lot of good chances. But we did not convert. Psychologically, we have a little fear because of relegation. It is a must-win situation and even a draw will not do,” said head coach V Soundarajan at the pre-match conference.
Their striker Jean Micheal Joachiim has failed to find the net even once in the last five matches, where Chennai has failed to breach the opposition defence. His dry spell after a thunderous start meant, the South-Indian club has failed to prosper in the attacking their and Soundarajan hoped that his ace-weapon can get back to form at the eaeliest.
It was 2-0 to Aizawl’s favour when both the sides last met, but the reigning champions since then has failed to win, with their latest result being a 1-3 defeat against Zob Ahan in the AFC Champions League play-off match.
“Our confidence level are always the same. We try to win three points in every game. We fight against every team, even in the AFC Champions League in the last match, we tried to win,” said Aizawl head coach Paul Menezes.
Bur Chennai irrespective of their position in the table has been gradually improving. Menezes however refusedd to look at the table and reckoned, “Chennai play good quality football. It will be a very tough game.”