Fourth-placed Gokulam Kerala FC will aim to snap the winning run of Manipuri side Tiddim Road Athletic Union (TRAU) FC as they go head-to-head in a key I-League clash in Kozhikode on Sunday.
Third-placed TRAU could not have asked for a better debut season, enjoying a four-match winning streak since the Imphal derby against Neroca FC.
Since their defeat to East Bengal in the second week of December last year, they are also in the midst of a six-game unbeaten run.
Gokulam, on the other hand, have been blowing hot and cold, winning half of their eight games so far but also losing three in the process.
Speaking ahead of the game, Gokulam’s Spanish coach Santiago Varela refused to accept that his side was too dependent on the heroics of Trinidadian captain Marcus Joseph.
“We have always shown to play in a way that all players are important in our game,” he added. “TRAU are a balanced team with good individuals and intensity. The plan is always to be the protagonists, control the game and be offensive. We will go in search of three points from the start.”
Marcus, in fact, along with Ugandan Henry Kisekka have accounted for nine of Gokulam’s 12 goals so far and the duo will have to do an encore if the hosts are to stop TRAU’s juggernaut.
For the visitors, it was captain Princewill Emeka of Nigeria who shared his views before the game and he sounded confident.
“It is going to be tough but we remain positive. It all boils down to the 90 minutes on the pitch. Neither the records nor the past form will play for us. We have players who can take care of the likes of Marcus and Henry.”
Besides Gokulam’s foreign duo, the likes of Falguni Singh and Premjit Singh for TRAU have also impressed with their skills.
The match will broadcast LIVE on 1SPORT from 7:00 PM IST straight from EMS Stadium, Kozhikode.