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Chennaiyin, FC Goa face-off in battle to reach ISL final (Preview)

IANS  |  Chennai 

and will battle it out in the second leg of their second semi-final of the (ISL) at the here on Tuesday as they look to join Bengaluru FC in the final.

In the first leg in Fatorda, and Chennaiyin played out a 1-1 draw, with the former champions earning a crucial away goal. scored for Chennaiyin after had put the hosts in the lead.

However, Chennaiyin chief said that they will not be complacent over the "minimal advantage".

"It was a hard-earned draw for us. play their passing, possession-based and as opponents, we worked hard to get the ball back. The away goal we got is a minimal advantage. If tomorrow the game finishes 0-0, we are through," Gregory said at the pre-match press conference.

"But we know that this is - anything can happen. Several permutations can come up during the match and we are prepared for it. We both know each other's game. We are fired up and ready to go."

Gregory said that right-back who picked up an to his right calf, will be fit for the clash. "He is a tough guy. He got a tough tackle which injured his right calf but he continued to play on and he will be ready tomorrow," the said.

Calderon will complete the back-four of Mailson Alves, and Jerry Lalrinzuala, who will have the responsibility of stopping the powerful Goa attack.

Gregory will also hope that his attacking line-up, that includes a struggling Jeje Lalpekhlua, will come up with the goals.

In the other camp, Hugo Boumous' return to fitness is a big boost to the visitors. It will be interesting to see the midfield combination that opts to go with. Pronay Halder has proved his value to the side with some astonishing performances from midfield alongside It will be a toss-up between and Hugo for the attacking midfield role.

is also back from and Lobera will have a as he will have to choose either Mandar or Brandon to occupy one wing while looks certain to start on the other flank.

Lanzarote (13 goals) and (18 goals) are the tournament's deadliest attacking pair and Goa will need them again to go through.

Even if Chennaiyin have the away-goal advantage, Lobera is not reading too much into it and believes his wards will pull it off.

"We are facing a tough team. (But) we need to play the way we have done so far in the tournament. We are the highest scoring team in the competition and we have the highest scoring players as well," he said.

"The style of we employ definitely puts us at a risk of conceding but at the other end, we are capable of scoring against any team. I would definitely take another 3-2 victory over here in Chennai like we did on the first match day (during the league phase)."

Going back to the history of the season, in the league stage, both teams have defeated each other once. In the first leg, Goa edged past Chennaiyin 3-2 and in the return leg, Chennaiyin beat Goa 1-0.

and have been excellent in defence and should be in contention to start despite both, and passing fitness tests.

Seriton Fernandes has been an unsung hero in what has largely been a fantastic campaign for the side and he will walk back into the team. looks likely to start at left back.

(can be contacted at abhishek.p@ians.in)

--IANS

pur/gau/bg

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 12 2018. 19:52 IST
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