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ISL 2023-24: Chennaiyin FC aims to increase playoff chances with win against Hyderabad

Chennaiyin FC (CFC) and Hyderabad FC (HFC) are languishing at the bottom of the Indian Super League table, 11th and 12th respectively. However, qualifying for the playoffs is still in Chennaiyin’s hands as it gets ready to host HFC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Saturday.

A victory against Thangboi Singto’s side, which is coming off a comeback 2-2 draw against NorthEast United FC, will take Owen Coyle’s men to 21 points from 18 outings and within touching distance of the sixth spot.

Coyle said he is not taking the Hyderabad challenge lightly, even though his side is fresh off a 2-1 victory against high-flying Odisha FC.

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“Hyderabad is not going to hand us anything… this is the most dangerous game of the season. This young Hyderabad team is full of spirit and endeavour. They’ve got nothing to lose, and they’ll play with that freedom,” Coyle said on Friday.

CFC will be hoping to improve its efficiency in front of the goal. Its tally of eighteen goals is the joint second-least scored by a team in the season, tied with Bengaluru FC and only ahead of HFC.

“Yes, we can be far more clinical. I think we missed more big chances than many teams in the league. But the good thing is that we are creating chances. I’d be more worried if we were not creating chances,” Coyle added.

It will be an uphill task for HFC — currently on five points from 18 games — to clinch its first win of the season, especially without the services of skipper Joao Victor and midfielder Mark Zothanpuia, both of whom, are suspended for the accumulation of yellow cards.

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