I-League debutants Gokulam Kerala FC will host their first home match on Monday evening when they take on fellow South Indian side Chennai City FC. Bino George-led Gokulam FC will head into this fixture following a 1-0 defeat to Shillong Lajong away from home in the opening round. Their opponents on Monday too come into this game following a 3-0 defeat to a young Indian Arrows side at Goa.
|Game||Gokulam Kerala FC vs Chennai City FC|
|Date||December 04, Monday|
|Time||8:00 PM IST (GMT +5:30)|
TV Channels & Live Stream
The Star Sports Network have the exclusive broadcasting rights of the I-League. All the matches will be telecast Live on Star Sports 2 and HD.
|India TV Channel||Online Streams|
|Star Sports 2/HD||Hotstar|
GOKULAM KERALA FC:
Possible XI: Nikhil C Bernard (GK); Shinu S, Provat Lakra, Daniel Addo, Sushanth Mathew; Thaivalappil Mohamed Irshad, Khaled Alsaleh, Mohammad Rashid; Kamo Bayi, Lelo Blaise Mbele, Arif Shaikh
Injured - Emmanuel Chigozie (hamstring)
Doubtful - None
Key Players - Kamo Bayi, Lelo Mbele
CHENNAI CITY FC:
Possible XI: Uros Poljanec; Henry Tesong, Veniamin Shumeiko, Dharmaraj Ravanan; Charles Anandraj, Edwin Vanspaul, Pradeep Mohanraj, Gaurav Bora; Jean Michael Joachim, Lucky Kelechukwa Micheal, Soosai Raj.
Injured - None
Doubtful - None
Key Players - Soosai Raj, Edwin Sydney Vanspaul
Top-flight football will return to Kozhikode after several years when Gokulam Kerala FC host Rohit Ramesh-owned Chennai City FC on Monday evening. Despite disappointing starts to their campaign, the hosts are optimistic of a better result on home soil. ''This is our first home match. It is always great to play here. I was here along with the Viva Kerala team, the previous I-League club from Kerala, and a return to the venue is an unforgettable experience,'' commented gaffer Bino George.
The Kerala outfit, which failed to capitalize on the chances they were afforded in the match at Shillong, has learnt their lessons and will improve on the same, claims the coach. The side will however need to be stretched in the defence especially due to the absence of their Nigerian defender Chigozie Emmanuel. He pulled his hamstring in Gokulam's inaugural tie.
On the other hand, V Soundararajan's side too will have to work on their defensive game after they conceded three goals against the Indian Arrows. The lack of experience among the players becomes a concern for the coach as they get ready to face a tough Gokulam team.
''Only three players have played top-tier football in the team. It will be a hard match against Gokulam (FC) at their home. We will try our best to not lose the match and save at least a point from the away game,” expressed Soundrarajan, who was appointed as the head coach following the sacking of Robin Charles Raja in February, during their 2016-17 campaign.
However, Chennai City, who faced a lot of flak after their foreign recruits underperformed against Indian Arrows, have managed to rope in three new signings in striker Murilo de Almeida (Timor Lester), young Slovenian goalkeeper Uros Poljanec and Brazilian midfielder Marcio Santos.
It will be interesting to see who will get the better of the other in the battle of Southerners where both outfits will battle it out to earn their first set of points in I-League 2017-18.