Gokulam Kerala FC will be playing host to Churchill Brothers at the EMS Stadium in Kozhikode on Sunday, January 26 evening. The match is scheduled for an evening kick-off at 7 pm and will be broadcast LIVE on 1Sports, with online streaming available at FanCode.
Both sides will be coming into this fixture on the back of defeats. The hosts suffered a staggering 1-3 defeat to Punjab FC in Ludhiana while Churchill Brothers were handed a major upset at home as TRAU emerged 2-1 winners at the Fatorda.
Another defeat for either side could serve as a catalyst which could ignite a downward spiral, as two defeats on the trot, has the potential to severely dent any title aspirations, especially when the league leaders show no signs of slowing down.
Gokulam Kerala FC have struggled for consistency, looking like the team to beat like they did against East Bengal but have struggled to follow up such performances, looking like a completely different team as they did against Punjab FC.
Gokulam Kerala FC head coach Fernando Andres Santiago Varela said, “Sometimes, football is not about mistakes but about the successes of the rival. Punjab FC had the advantage as they are habituated to playing on such a field which we couldn’t get accustomed to. Maybe we lack the experience to play that kind of game, but there is nothing to reproach the players, they always give it their all.”
Speaking about the opponents, the Gokulam Kerala FC gaffer said, “Churchill Brothers is a very intense, tall and defensively organized team. They are very dangerous in the set pieces. Our idea will be to impose the rhythm of the game and as always show a good football.”
Meanwhile, Gokulam Kerala FC have already announced to donate the total ticket sales to the family of Radhakrishnan Dhanarajan, who passed away recently. Reportedly, legendary footballer IM Vijayan and Blue Tigers skipper Sunil Chhetri have already bought 250 and 220 tickets respectively to help the cause.
Churchill Brothers, on the other hand, has had better fortunes away from home and is the only side to have defeated Mohun Bagan this season but their run at home hasn’t been as convincing, but that is a story for another day.
Churchill Brothers head coach Bernardo Tavares said, “In my opinion, Gokulam Kerala is one of the teams that has the best players of the league. They won easily with a scoreline of 3-1 against Quess East Bengal, they played very well against Punjab and also played well the other games that I saw.”
He further added, “Marcus Joseph is a very good player and he, alone can decide the game. They have other good foreigners, but also good Indian players who can make the difference. It’s going to be a very difficult game for our team because they are very strong and at this moment we have many important players injured. We must work very hard with perfect teamwork in order to make a good game of this encounter.”