Gokulam Kerala and Churchill Brothers would look to bounce back from their previous match defeats when they face each other in an I-League match on Sunday. Both sides come into this fixture on the back of defeats. Gokulam suffered a staggering 1-3 defeat to Punjab FC in Ludhiana while Churchill Brothers were handed a major upset at home as TRAU emerged 2-1 winners at Margao. Another defeat for either side has the potential to severely dent any title aspirations, especially when the league leaders show no signs of slowing down.
Gokulam have struggled for consistency. They beat East Bengal but later struggled to follow up such performances, as seen against Punjab FC. Gokulam head coach Fernando Andres Santiago Varela said, "Sometimes, football is not about mistakes but about the successes of the rival. Punjab FC had the advantage as they are habituated to playing on such a field which we could not get accustomed to. Maybe we lack the experience to play that kind of game, but there is nothing to reproach the players, they always give it their all." Speaking about their Sunday's opponents, he said, "Churchill Brothers are a very intense and defensively organized team. They are very dangerous in the set pieces. Our idea will be to impose the rhythm of the game and as always show a good football."
Gokulam Kerala have already announced to donate the ticket sales amounts to the family Radhakrishnan Dhanarajan, who died recently. Legendary footballer IM Vijayan and India skipper Sunil Chhetri are reported to have already bought 250 and 220 tickets respectively to help the cause. Churchill, on the other hand, have had better fortunes away from home and are the only side to have defeated Mohun Bagan this season but their run at home has not been as convincing, but that is a story for another day. Churchill Brothers head coach Bernardo Tavares said, "In my opinion, Gokulam Kerala are one of the sides that have the best players of the league. They won easily with a scoreline of 3-1 against East Bengal, they played very well against Punjab and also played well the other games that I saw."
"Marcus Joseph is a very good player and he alone can decide the game. They have other good foreigners, but also good Indian players who can make the difference. It's going to be a very difficult game for our team because they are very strong and at this moment we have many important players injured."