As Mohun Bagan come calling, struggling Chennai City FC are hoping to draw inspiration from the mass protests that are taking place all over the state of Tamil Nadu seeking the legalisation of the native bull-taming sport - Jallikattu.
In fact, the issue has seen people in huge numbers assembling in many important areas of the city throughout the day which has left many wondering whether fans will turn up for the I-League round four clash between Mohun Bagan and Chennai City FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Chennai.
But Chennai City FC expressed their solidarity with the movement, with Tamil Nadu-born midfielder Dhanpal Ganesh claiming that the team would have joined the protests if not for the preparations for Saturday's game. He claimed, "We are supporting Jallikattu. We wanted to join the movement but because of the match, we could not go there."
Furthermore, he said that the team would try and visit the protesters after the game on Sunday. "We’ll try to go there after the game tomorrow and express our support and solidarity."
Chennai City are currently placed seventh in the league with just one point from three games and are expected to be beaten comfortably by high-flying Mohun Bagan. But Chennai City coach Robin Charles Raja expressed hope that his team can gain inspiration from the protests happening in the city and elevate their game.
"Our team should do well for the cause of the people of Tamil Nadu. We should try and win for them," he stated. Earlier, several Chennai City players including captain Dharmaraj Ravanan had tweeted a video message supporting the protests.
Now, while Robin Charles Raja and co. might have gained some sympathy with the fans of the bull-taming sport, a bigger 'bull' awaits them on Saturday evening. To tackle and tame The Mariners, they will require much more than sympathy. Chennai City will need to play out of their skins to gain something from this clash.