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Chennaiyin FC eager at ending on a high as NorthEast United FC look to sign off the season with a win

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Chennaiyin FC will be looking to end their season with a positive result at home when they face NorthEast United FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Friday. The Highlanders, meanwhile, will try and spoil the party by ending their seven-game winless run against the Marina Machans.

Confidence is high in the Chennaiyin FC camp despite missing out on a playoff spot this season. The Marina Machans have won their last two games, securing back-to-back victories for the first time this season in the Hero ISL.

After ending their eight-game winless run with a win against East Bengal FC over ten days ago, Chennaiyin FC dealt a massive blow to FC Goa’s playoff aspirations with a 2-1 win at the Fatorda Stadium last week

The Marina Machans were victorious despite the absence of Petar Sliskovic and Abdenasser El Khayati. Rahim Ali and Kwame Karikari have stepped up to replace the two top scorers of the club this season and have fared well so far.

“We are prepared for the next match. From day one till the final game, the road has been long and hard with lots of ups and downs,” said head coach Thomas Brdaric. “But now I see that the team has learnt a lot from all the games. They have worked hard to earn two wins in a row. I am pleased but we finished in eighth place and we have to improve a lot,” he added.

NorthEast United FC have secured only five points in 19 games in the season and have already begun looking ahead to the next season. Friday’s game will serve as another chance for the current squad to show their wares ahead of that rebuild.

In the reverse fixture earlier this season, NorthEast United FC were beaten 7-3 in their own backyard. This time around, the Highlanders will have a couple of new faces on the pitch that could help them gain something from this fixture.

Parthib Gogoi has looked menacing in the final third over the last couple of Matchweeks and will be in contention to start. Wilmar Gil was back on the scoresheet last week against Odisha FC and scored his sixth goal of the campaign from the spot.

“It’s the last game of the season and it is an important one for us as we prepare for the Super Cup. This is also an opportunity for us to get something away from home,” said Vincenzo Annese. “We have managed to perform well away from home only in one game this season so it will be important to change that,” he added.

The two sides have met 17 times in the Hero ISL. Both have won six games and five have ended in draws. NorthEast United FC’s last win in this fixture came in the 2018-19 Hero ISL season.