Hot favourites Churchill Brothers would look to extend their unbeaten run in the tournament when they play a third-placed Gokulam Kerala FC in a Hero I-League match in Kolkata on Sunday. (More Football News)
Churchill won their second match on the trot by beating NEROCA 1-0 and are still enjoying the top spot in the league table.
The victory extended the Red Machines' lead over Real Kashmir on the top of the Hero I-League to two points.
With both Real Kashmir and Gokulam hot on their heels, Fernando Varela's side cannot afford to slip up against the Malabrians and will go for all three points as they try to extend their lead on the top.
"We did a very good job to beat NEROCA. For me, it was one of the best games of the season. We created good chances and were resilient at the back. But now our focus is on the next game against Gokulam Kerala," Churchill head coach Fernando Varela said.
"This game is far too important for us. We are at the top of the table and have everything to lose. They (Gokulam Kerala) are a good team, and they play attacking football with good Indian players as well as foreign players. But, I believe we have the best defense in the league so far."
Gokulam, meanwhile, are in their best form since the start of the season after they beat Sudeva Delhi by a solitary goal to extend their winning streak to three games.The victory pushed them into the third spot with 16 points from nine matches, on the Hero I-League table, three points behind leaders Churchill.
If Vincenzo Annese's side can pick three points, they could blow the title challenge wide open going into the second phase of the league.
"We dominated the last game, but scored just once. I am happy that we created a lot of chances, and not worried that we missed those chances against Sudeva. For me, it is a positive point. If we keep creating chances and putting pressure on opponents, we will definitely score goals," Gokulam coach Annese said.
"I don't think we can be too defensive against Churchill Brothers. They have quality players in Luka Majcen, Clayvin Zuniga, Kingsley Fernandes, and Bryce Miranda. They have a huge squad of players, but so do we. We need to focus and play our natural game if we want to win against them."
Match and telecast details:
Match: Gokulam Kerala Vs Churchill Brothers
Date: March 1 (Monday), 2021
Time: 2:00 PM IST
Venue: KBK Stadium, Kolkata, West Bengal
TV Channel: 1Sports
Live Streaming: 1Sports Facebook