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  • 21 September 2013
  • • 16:00
  • • Duler Stadium, Mapusa

Churchill Brothers SC - Salgaocar FC Preview: First Goan derby beckons the new I-League season

Churchill Brothers SC - Salgaocar FC Preview: First Goan derby beckons the new I-League season


The defending champions take on Derrick Pereira's side after the two sides met last month in the local league in which they drew 0-0...

Churchill Brothers have a change in personnel, with experienced Sukhwinder Singh taking over as technical director after Subhash Bhowmick had guided the club to their second I-League title, alongside head coach Mariano Dias.

The Red Machines have been unable to make any sort of high profile signings besides midfielder Hugo Machado and defender Euripedis Amoreirinha, both Portuguese nationals, although the latter will not be available for Churchill's opener with a possibility of him being replaced at the club.

Machado will have the humongous task of filling into the shoes of Beto, while the new signing from Syria - Ahmad Al Kaddour is reportedly not ready for Saturday's clash as the Churchill coach claimed that he is yet to get familier with the other players in the side.

"Since we are the champions, everybody will be waiting to watch how Churchill Brothers play," said Dias, who will be without the services of regular right back Denzil Franco who is ruled out due to an injury, with Satish Singh expected to replace him.

On the other hand, Salgaocar FC are also sweating to issues concerning their players' fitness. French-born Ivorian striker Claude Gnakpa and Nigerian defender Chika Wali have been recovering from a calf and a knee strain respectively.

The Green and Whites are also looking to replace injured Seiji Saito after the Japanese attacking midfielder hasn't been able to regain full fitness since his arrival at the club. “After signing, Seiji Saito came back with an ankle injury. He came in late and was the last foreign player to join us as he had some visa issues. Since then he has been struggling for fitness,” Pereira informed Goal.     

The former Pune FC gaffer meanwhile believes that the defending champions are a strong unit despite having lost several key players over the summer.

“It will be a tough game. It’s a touch and go situation for both teams. The teams will have to find their strength without their full teams. l would say that their midfield is very strong. We are eager to get a positive result. We have to be 100 percent focused and be positive,” he mentioned.

"We will take it match-by-match as the first three matches will be very crucial for us and those three results will push us forward. From there on we have to see how we go about," Pereira added.

The two teams will look to start their season on a positive note as early points will ease the nerves of the players. 

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Churchill Brothers SC CHU
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Salgaocar FC SAL
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Churchill Brothers SC CHU
2 - 2
Salgaocar FC SAL
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