Churchill Brothers and Mohun Bagan are set to lock horns in the I-League 2018-19 at the Tilak Maidan stadium in Vasco, Goa, on Saturday.
|Game||Churchill Brothers v Mohun Bagan|
|Date||Saturday, February 9|
|Time||5:00 PM IST (GMT +5:30)|
TV CHANNELS & LIVE STREAM
The Star Sports Network have the exclusive broadcasting rights of the I-League. The game will also be telecast on digital platforms.
|India (English) TV channel||Online streams|
|Star Sports 3||Hotstar and Jio TV|
Key Players: Willis Plaza, Dawda Ceesay, Hussein Eldor
Key Players: Aser Dipanda, Sony Norde, Omar Elhusseiny
Suspended: Eze Kingsley
Churchill Brothers had an opportunity to go top of the league with a win in both their previous games. However, the team succumbed to a loss and a draw.
Taking advantage of their slip, Real Kashmir (32) have leapfrogged the Goans (29), while Chennai City FC are still a point ahead and a couple of games in hand. East Bengal (28), too, have moved within sniffing distance.
Pressure and injuries have certainly hampered Churchill's title run-in. They do not have a strong squad and the Red Machines tend to struggle when one or two of their key players are unavailable.
Khalid Aucho's injury has crippled them while new signing Cavin Lobo is yet to gel with the team. As such, Petre Gigiu will be sweating to field a full-strength team, especially against Mohun Bagan.
All hopes will be once again rested on the likes of Golden Boot contender Willis Plaza, who has 17 goals to his name, and Anthony Wolfe while Dawda Ceesay also has to perform to his high standards.
Mohun Bagan suffered a big blow when they went down 3-0 in the reverse fixture in Kolkata, under former coach Sankar Lal Chakraborty.
Ever since Khalid Jamil has taken charge, the Mariners have picked seven out of 12 points. They have also been helped by the return to fitness of Sony Norde. They are now on the sixth spot with 22 points after 15 games and are still looking to return to winning ways since their Kolkata derby defeat against arch-rivals East Bengal.
Bagan salvaged themselves from successive losses as Aser Dipanda added to Shilton D'Silva's opening goal in the 2-2 draw against Gokulam Kerala in their last fixture of January.
They may be out of the title race, but the Kolkata-based outfit still have pride at stake. As such, the onus is also on them to collect maximum points while Churchill Brothers need a win to keep their title hopes alive.
The visitors will miss the services of Eze Kingsley after the defender picked his fourth booking in the last match. The club also awaits return dates for injured Yuta Kinowaki, Sukhdev Singh and Sourav Das.