With just one point separating bottom placed Churchill Brothers and ninth-placed Minerva Punjab FC, the I-League encounter between these two holds added significance as far as avoiding relegation is concerned.
Churchill Brothers have been searching for a win ever since they beat Bengaluru FC but have drawn twice and lost twice in the four away matches since then.
They return to their home ground Tilak Maidan which will be a boost for the Red Machines as they look to put points on the table and move out of the last place in the table.
The team have also roped in the experienced Derrick Pereira to take over as the head coach of the team for the remainder of the season but the Minerva Punjab match might be too close for the former DSK Shivajians coach to implement his ideas and interim coach Alfred Fernandes is expected to continue one last time on the bench.
The first leg fixture between the two sides had ended in a goalless draw and Churchill Brothers would look to take full use of their home advantage as they play their next three matches at home and in front of their own fans.
“In the last match, we could not come out with a victory. But in the next three home matches, we are going for three victories which will take us mid-table,” Alfred Fernandes said at the pre-match press conference.
He further added: “The spirits are high for the boys and there are no excuses for tomorrow’s match.”
As far as Minerva Punjab FC are concerned, they hit the road for their next two matches, starting with Churchill Brothers followed by a travel to Mumbai FC. This is followed by some tough fixtures coming up including matches against the likes of Bengaluru FC, Shillong Lajong FC and Aizawl FC.
“We want to go up to the table and that can only happen if we win the game and take three points. The boys are looking forward to taking all three points from the game. When we played against Churchill at home, it was a tough game and Churchill is a good team and they have good players. We need to work hard to get the points,” Minerva coach Surinder Singh said while sounding confident about going for a victory.
For both sides, taking points off each other would help in the quest to avoid relegation which gives an added significance to this fixture.
As the season reaches the midway point, both teams would be looking to put more points on the table starting with Sunday’s fixture.
The match kicks off at 04:30pm and it’ll be streamed live on i-league.org.
by I-League Media