Both teams have played twice so far, with CFC registering a victory and draw each, while BFC are winless following consecutive stalemates.
In terms of team news, Chennaiyin FC Head Coach Csaba Laszlo confirmed that left-back Jerry Lalrinzuala will start in place of Chhuantea Fanai, the latter substituted in the previous encounter against Kerala Blasters with injury. He also spoke about various other aspects in the pre-match press conference, following are excerpts:
On Friday’s clash against Bengaluru FC
Laszlo: Every game, we have a particular tactic according to the opposition. We know they (Bengaluru) played two draws and everyone wants to win such games. It's like a derby for us. We will do everything to try and win this game because that will help us stabilize our position in the table.
On countering Bengaluru FC’s style of play...
Laszlo: We watched their games and saw how they play. They are a physical and tall team. They create from set-pieces and long throw-ins. We must be prepared for it. I think we have our weaknesses and they have theirs. I'm concentrating on my team right now.
We need to shoot more and score more. We need to convert our chances. We had one day more to practice set-pieces and improve our organisation. We are organised and prepared. We will try to reduce our mistakes and use their mistakes to score goals.
On the importance of Anirudh Thapa for Chennaiyin FC...
Laszlo: At the beginning of the season, the questions were whether Thapa should score more goals. I think yes, he can score goals. The tactical position is not important. What is important is positional play. He can run a lot, physically he is good and he has creativity and innovation which you can’t teach.
In defence, he is helpful but he has a bit more quality offensively. So I try to push him more forward and give him more freedom.
On how long it will take the team to settle down...
Time is our biggest enemy because we did not have enough pre-season with new players coming in. Also, the daily routine in the bubble is not perfect. Just to give an example, I can't take two or three players to the side and show them something helpful because of the bubble. But I'm not unsatisfied. We need to have more concentration. We just need to prepare well and be more clinical.