I-League 2019-20: Gokulam Kerala FC Host Pedro Manzi-less Chennai City FC
I-League 2019-20: Chennai City FC will play their first match since the sale of Pedro Manzi as they visit Gokulam Kerala FC.
Gokulam Kerala FC host Chennai City FC in the I-League. (Photo Credit: AIFF)
Kozhikode: Gokulam Kerala FC and Chennai City FC will be battling for Southern supremacy when the former host the I-League defending champions at the EMS Stadium in Kozhikode on Thursday, January 9. The match will be broadcast LIVE on DSport from 7:00PM onward.
Gokulam Kerala will be disappointed that they could not make the most of a one-man advantage against Aizawl FC in their previous match, where for most of the second half they dominated every aspect of the play with a plethora of attacks.
Gokulam Kerala are currently fifth in the table with seven points from four matches. After going winless for the last two matches, it will be interesting to see how Gokulam live up to the expectations as they host the reigning champions, who haven't hit the ground running so far.
Fernando Andres Santiago Varela, head coach of Gokulam Kerala FC reflected on the previous match and said, "Aizawl did a great defensive job, we tried anyway but their goalkeeper stood out throughout the game. These are things that happen in football and you have to accept them. The important thing that we always maintained our competitive and offensive spirit trying to win with good football."
He further spoke about Chennai City FC saying, "Chennai is the current league champion, when you get a championship you deserve respect, we never look at the names of the players but the ability to generate good tactical quality and Chennai City surely have it."
Chennai City FC, on the other hand, haven't had much luck this season. Stricken with injuries and marred by the loss of their marquee striker Pedro Manzi, the defending champions are faced with an uphill task.
Chennai have mustered five points from the first five games and a win seems to be must to boost the morale of the team. With Manzi gone, the onus will be on I-League veteran Katsumi Yusa and Chennai City FC captain Roberto Eslava Suarez to help the team get over the line.
Commenting on the loss of Pedro Manzi, head coach Akbar Nawas said, "Our management is looking into it and we will make a decision in time to come if a replacement is needed."
Speaking about the home team he said, "They are really a good team and I am sure they seem to be one of the favourites this season. It will be a tough and competitive game for us."
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