I-League: Chennai eye victory against Gokulam

January 20 2018

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Chennai City FC will aim to return to winning ways when they host Gokulam Kerala FC in an I-League encounter here on Saturday.

Chennai had registered goalless stalemates in their previous two matches. Chennai are sitting at the eighth spot in the 10-team league table with nine points from 10 matches.

Bottom placed Gokulam have also struggled to make a mark on the I-League table so far, but will be hoping for a new beginning in Coimbatore.

They are currently on a measly four points from nine matches, but a win may see them go ahead of ninth placed Churchill Brothers on goal difference.

Coached by V. Soundararajan, Chennai had caught the eye when they bettered former champions Mohun Bagan in a feisty affair in Kolkata.

Jean Micheal Joachim and Veniamin Shumeiko starred in that match but Soundararajan is planning some tactical changes against Gokulam.

"Tomorrow's match is very important for us. We don't want to lose the match. We don't want to draw the match. We want to win," he said.

"Tactically, I will be changing the team. We played extremely well in all the matches, the results just did not happen for us," he added.

Gokulam have been unfortunate with injuries. Their foreign players, in particular, have missed regular minutes due to persistent injury troubles. 

Just like his Chennai counterpart, Gokulam coach Bino George will also look to alter his strategy for Saturday's match.

"Gokulam Kerala will have a different plan for tomorrow. In all the games, we played really well but conceded sneaky goals," he bemoaned.

"We are a new team and the squad is very young."

Chennai City skipper Soosairaj has been in supreme form in the centre of midfield and will be the key to unlock the opposition defence which includes tough tacklers Emmanuel Chigozie and Daniel Addo.

The hosts have also had the advantage of being able to field their foreign players regularly. 

"The team with good foreigners are doing well. Our foreign players got injured," George said.

Schumeiko has solidified the Chennai defence and Gokulam's new signing Mahmood Al-Ajmi will have a tough task on his hands to break open the sturdy backline.

French striker Jean Micheal Joachim, another of Chennai's in-form foreign players, is their top scorer with five goals to his name so far.

  • Source
  • IASN