Churchill look to halt Bagan's unbeaten run in the league
Written by: Ravish R Narvekar
The Mariners defeated the Red Machines in their previous meeting earlier this season...
After a comfortable 3-0 win against DSK Shivajians in the last week, Churchill Brothers will be looking to continue their excellent form when they face title contenders Mohun Bagan at Tilak Maidan, Vasco on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Mariners are flying high with an unbeaten run in the league. Recently they have trashed Maldivian club, Valencia 4-1 to enter group stage of the AFC Cup.
Churchill head coach Derrick Perreira most likely to go with the same starting XI which earned him full points against DSK in the last match. Coach Pereira will have a full squad at his disposal as the team is fully fit and without any suspensions. However, recently recovered Fulganco Cardozo might start from the bench.
While Bagan head coach Sanjoy Sen will have no issues to field same starting XI as they have registered an easy 3-1 win against DSK.
Since the I-League's beginning in 2007, Churchill Brothers have a better history over Kolkata giants as the Goan club has won seven times over Bagan’s four times. While nine clashes between the two sides ended in all square. Bagan edged out Churchill in their last meet.
Derrick Pereira-Churchill Brothers: "Shivajians cannot be equated with Bagan. It is a different ball game. Bagan have very experienced and high quality players. For us, the victory against the Pune team was a big morale-boosting one no doubt, but tomorrow we will have to take our game a few notches higher than the last match and we will have to give more than 100 percent. We will have to further tighten our defence and also additionally sharpen our attack. Above all, we need to exert sustained pressure on Bagan," Derrick expressed.
"From now on, every point is important, so we will fight tooth and nail as we have equally good, experienced players whose self-belief is on a high. They are highly motivated. We will play our natural game. We shall cover up our weaknesses and try to exploit the loopholes in the Bagan defence as we search for goals. We shall stay focused and not allow our opponents free space," Derrick. "There will be no changes in our formation tomorrow. I was very happy at the performance against the Pune team. The boys are geared up to raise further their game and showcase better and greater level of understanding and coordination. We all want to improve. In football, the result if often unpredictable, but one thing is sure - the team that make most of the chances emerges winner - and we are set to prove that," Derrick said.
Sanjoy Sen-Mohun Bagan: Churchill Brothers Football Club are a transformed lot, having changed their strategy to a higher level, and consequently, it will be a great challenge for Mohun Bagan in their 12th round Hero I-Legue national football league match at Tilak Stadium in Vasco on Saturday," disclosed Kolkata coach Sanjoy Sen. "We are prepared to face a better organised Churchill Brothers tomorrow. It's challenging as they are much more stronger now than what they were in the first-leg series. It will be a tough test as we aim for three points, for Churchill pack lot of aggression now and certainly are better prepared now. There have been strategic changes in the rivals' methodology of play after Derrick took over the mantle," the Bagan coach said at the pre-match conference.
"We respect Derrick. We enjoy very good relationship with him. He carries lot of experience and don't forget that he won the title when with Mahindras United at one time. Every team is presently offering a challenge to the title contenders, and as has been seen of late, every team is becoming stronger and stronger. Minerva, Chennai are a case in point just like Churchill. Most teams have been looking at foreign coaches, but I can vouch that Indian coaches are well qualified and can deliver the goods. Look at the DSK Shivajians and one will understand what has been delivered by the foreign coach. We need quality coaches and there are very good coaches in India," Sanjoy said "We have been playing in the AFC Cup side-by-side and that's a big distraction which we are facing for the past decade or so. But we have not lost our focus on the National title. Playing in AFC and the I-League at the same time is not the same. It is pretty difficult, but we have adjusted well and we know where our priorities lie. Playing in AFC is also a challenge as we represent our country in the Asian competition and our boys feel very proud and as are always eager to do well as can be seen from our matches against the Maldivian team which we beat handsomely recently," stated Sanjoy.
Man to Watch
Anthony Wolfe- Churchill Brothers SC: The Trinidad and Tobago striker is in excellent form in the second leg of the league scoring two goals and has also grabbed two back-to-back Man of the Match awards in last two matches. The front man was out of form at the start of the season but now, he is completely in form and proving himself with brilliant passes and excellent control on the ball. The striker is also known for the clinical finish, which he showed in the last match against DSK with a perfect opening goal for the Red Machines.
Balwant Singh- Mohun Bagan: The India international striker is in the fantastic form for the club scoring two goals in the last match against DSK. The 31-year-old is quick at his feet and known for his control on the ball while taking on defenders. With his pace and ability to easily dribble past defenders, Singh will be the man to stop for Churchill.
Churchill Brothers: (4-4-2) Naveen (GK), Khan, Seriton, Rodrigues, Almeida, Brandon, Costa, Bektur, Kroma, Lyngdoh (U22), Wolfe.
Mohun Bagan: (4-4-2) Majumder (GK), Ferreira, Balwat, Norde, Bose, Kotal, Halder, Shehnaj, Edathodika, Yusa, Duffy.
The match will be telecast live on Ten 2 from 7.05 PM. You can also follow live text commentary of the game on www.khelnow.com.
Published: Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:19 PM IST