ISL: Chennaiyin aim to finish league stage on high against Mumbai City (Preview)

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Chennai, March 2 (IANS) Chennaiyin FC chief coach John Gregory will be tempted to give some of their lesser-known footballers a chance when they face Mumbai City FC in their last league match of the Hero Indian Super League clash here on Saturday.

Chennaiyin FC have qualified for the semi-finals and can finish anywhere between two and four, depending on the result at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

The Chennnaiyin FC coach said he was not bothered about their semi-final opponents and will start focusing on that crucial game only after the game against Mumbai, who are out of contention for the top-four finish.

“I will make one or two changes. Give minutes to some of the guys who were on the bench or upstairs. They thoroughly deserve the chance. If they perform well enough, and they fit into the system, I always have a (selection) headache (for the next game),” said Gregory during the pre-match media interaction.

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“I’ve got a group of incredible players. I’ve been with several teams in my career but never known a group quite like this one. Absolute pleasure to be around and work with. They deserve all plaudits. I hope we can at least take one step further (and qualify for the final),” said Gregory.

Chennaiyin FC won the title in 2015 but failed to qualify for the play-offs last season under 2006 Italian World Cup winner Marco Materazzi.

At the other end, Mumbai City FC failed in their bid to seek qualification after losing their last match against Delhi Dynamos FC.

Mumbai are placed seventh with 23 points and will overtake sixth-placed Kerala Blasters (25 points) if they can get full points from their last match against Chennaiyin FC.

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Mumbai’s Costa Rican coach Alexandre Guimaraes said there is still plenty to play for.

“We have not lost our perspective in terms of playing the last game with all the resources available for us to play,” said Guimaraes.

“So, I will put the best players available to play, because we have been through a lot of situations and injuries and let’s see who is available. We will try to win the game. If we can win tomorrow, we can finish sixth.”

–IANS

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