Mariano Dias' side are on the back of a morale-boosting 3-0 win in the AFC Cup against Warriors FC. They now face a formidable Pune FC team who defeated Dempo 2-0 last week...
CHURCHILL BROTHERS SC
Naveen, Balmuchu, Ravanan, Yumnam;
Dias, Lenny, Bikramjit, Gurung;
Tabia, Edathodika, Chika, Gurujinder;
Karma, Mumtaz, Sukhwinder, Paite;
Churchill Brothers will be breathing a sigh of relief as they head into this encounter against Pune FC in the I-League. The Goans had picked up two draws against Salgaocar and ONGC in the games before they faced off against Warriors FC in the AFC Cup. However they turned on the style as they dispatched the challenge of the Singapore team by 3-0 to garner some much needed momentum.
Mariano Dias knows that he will need to strike when the iron is hot if the Goans are to entertain any hopes of bringing home an I-League title. With Dempo SC losing steam in their quest to retain the crown, it's now a two-way race for the trophy along with East Bengal. With star attacking midfielder Beto out of action for atleast another two weeks, Dias has replacements for the 33-year old on standby who will have to ensure that the Brazilian isn't missed much.
Pune FC will also have a reason to be happy picked up a 2-0 win over reigning champions Dempo which would have done wonders to the confidence of Derrick Pereira's team whose only win before the Dempo game was a 3-0 win over Mumbai FC. The Red Lizard are hoping for a strong end to the season as they have a reasonably easy run of fixtures till the curtains close on this year's I-League.
Pereira has no fresh injury concerns as he has a full squad to choose from which would give him an opportunity to keep all the players raring to go in the final phase of the I-League. However the former Mahindra United coach will surely pick his strongest lineup as the quality of Churchill Brothers is undoubtable.
With James Moga and Boima Karpeh striking a fruitful understanding in the attacking third of the pitch, Pune FC are more than capable of matching Churchill on the park.
Churchill Brothers: Beto will be unavailable for Mariano Dias' team as he is out with a hamstring injury. Steven Dias and Lenny Rodrigues will make a return to the team after being rested for the AFC Cup clash against Warriors FC.
Pune FC: Derrick Pereira will not be able to avail the services of midfielder Arata Izumi who is suspended for this game. Douhou Pierre might return to the eleven after being benched in the victory over Dempo last weekend.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Only Prayag United have scored the same number of goals as Churchill (46) in the I-League.
- Churchill Brothers along with East Bengal are the only two clubs in the I-League this year who have conceded less than 20 goals.
- Pune FC have won two of the last five encounters between the two sides with Churchill taking maximum points on the other three occasions.
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