ISL: Chennaiyin, Jamshedpur battle for play-off spots (Preview)

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Chennai, Feb 17 (IANS) Chennaiyin FC know they cannot leave anything to chance and will battle for full points in their last three league matches, starting with the crucial clash with Jamshedpur FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Sunday.

Chennaiyin FC’s solitary goal victory over FC Goa in the previous clash gave them a massive boost in the race for a play-off spot.

They now have 27 points from 15 matches with second-placed FC Pune City (29 points) playing an additional match.

A win will almost assure them a place in the semi-finals of the Indian Super League and the hosts are keen to ensure there are no slip-ups at this stage.

“We find ourselves in a much better situation (after the win over FC Goa) and it’s in our hands. It’s the same for Jamshedpur FC. There are games where we can decide whether or not we will go into the play-offs.

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“We need to win the remaining matches. I have got three matches left and I want my boys to win all three,” said Chennaiyin FC coach John Gregory.

The Chennaiyin FC coach said the dressing room is “happy” and that they enjoyed their journey home from Goa after collecting three points. The Jamshedpur clash will test their resolve again.

“If you look at the last five matches, Jamshedpur are probably playing better than any other team. Their performance during this period has been incredible,” said Gregory.

After being winless in the first three matches, Jamshedpur FC have stunned everyone by winning five of their last six matches.

They are now placed fourth with 25 points and will qualify if they can win their remaining three matches against Chennaiyin FC, Bengaluru FC and FC Goa.

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“We have three very difficult games. Chennaiyin are on the back of a win at Goa. Then we play Bengaluru next week and finish with Goa.

“So three very, very difficult matches; but if after (the first) three games of the season, you said we would be in this position, I would have taken it,” said Jamshedpur FC coach Steve Coppell.

Jamshedpur lost the first leg at home but Coppell said his side is motivated by more than just revenge.

“Revenge is definitely not a factor; it’s another game in our schedule. At this stage, there is more significance to the results. Whatever happens tomorrow, our season doesn’t end.

“We have to play all three games. The result is significant for either side. It will be a huge fillip for either teams to get three points,” said Coppell.

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