Winless in their last four games, the defending champions Minerva Punjab FC will look to get back to the winning ways as they take on Gokulam Kerala in the battle between the 7th and 10th-placed teamsÂ at Panchkulaâ€™s Tau Devi Lal Stadium in the first of three games on Saturday.
Both the hosts and the visitors are surely out of the title race at this stage of the league given their points and standings, but the hosts in particular, are looking to plug gaps before an impending AFC Champions League campaign.
Gokulam also, will be under a new Technical Director in Gift Raikhan, roped in as the new Technical Director from Aizawl FC and he too would want to start off with a bang.
Minerva have made crucial signings in the ongoing transfer window, bringing in quality in the midfield with players like Mahmoud Al Amna of Syria and Juan Quero of Spain, but the duo will not be available for tomorrow’s match.
Irish coach Paul Munster seemed well aware of his teamâ€™s problems in front of goal, when he commented in the pre-match presser, â€œWe are excited for tomorrowâ€™s match and the boys are going to give their best and I am sure we can with this game. We will be concentrating on the attacking area so that we can score. The players have to realise that they have to perform to sustain their football career. Our aim will be on winning and scoring in tomorrowâ€™s game.â€�
Gokulam, on the other hand, have had no problems on the goal-scoring front, having struck 16 times in the league, but have also let in 21, making them among the weakest of defences.
However, they have continued to make signings on the attacking front and Trinidadian Marcus Joseph was the fourth since Antonio German left mid-season.
Gokulam need to go back to the first leg fixture and to that Rajesh goal which won them the tie at home, to derive inspiration. Gift Raikhan is known to inspire his boys and bring in discipline and they do have a huge support base to answer to.
Raikhan in his first press conference as the new Technical Director of Gokulam was as usual forthright saying, â€œThe changes we are expecting is in results. Gokulamâ€™s score has gone down on the points level and so has the confidence of the players. We are collectively preparaing for the upcoming matches. We have a game plan for tomorrow. If the team follows that then we can score well.â€�
He also revealed that a new Ghanaian defender Charles Teiko Folley will be joining the squad and will be availble from the next game.
The hosts have not won in five games and Kerala have been torrid on the road losing four on the trot as they go into Saturdayâ€™s game. It promises to be competitive with both playing for pride and future.
It could also herald the beginning of a glorious comeback to the top half of Indiaâ€™s top flight league.
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The post I-League 2019: Minerva Punjab look to snap winless streak against Gokulam Kerala appeared first on Fisto.
Source: Matchday Frolics