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Opportunity for strugglers Pune, Chennaiyin to improve

Press Trust of India  |  Pune 

Struggling to make a mark this season, defending champions and will look to put up an improved display in their Hero (ISL) match here on Tuesday.

Last season, the two teams were blazing away and qualified for the play-offs. went on to win the league title, and now both are at the bottom of the table.

for both the teams as they face each other in a crucial battle at the Complex Stadium.

"Nobody would have thought that two of last year's semifinalists would be sitting in this position when we are coming close to about one-third of the season. It's our responsibility to dig ourselves out of the hole," said

Reddy took over from the sacked Portugal and has been trying to get the team back on track. His first attempt was a disaster as they lost 2-4 against FC Goa but a draw against Kerala Blasters FC suggested his team could turn things around.

He now has a battle on his hand. Brazilian striker has been handed an additional suspension of two matches for his red-card offence against FC Goa, while Marko Stankovic, who scored a blinder last week, could miss out due to an he picked up during the match.

The onus will again be on Emiliano Alfaro, who now has the dubious record of missing two penalties in as many games, and to find their form in front of goal.

John Gregory's are placed 10th after being subpar in both attack and defence. Alongside Pune, they have the worst defensive record in the league with 11 goals conceded.

"We have had an embarrassing season so far, with just one point in six games. Talking here won't make any difference, we need to do the talking on the field. Tomorrow night I will be choosing players who have the hunger, and desire to get all three points," said Gregory.

The could make changes and hand game-time to players who haven't been tested.

could find himself back in the starting line-up after two commendable performances as a substitute. Karanjit Singh could see his position in the line-up being taken away by Sanjiban Ghosh as the too has been out of form.

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

First Published: Mon, November 05 2018. 20:30 IST