Gokulam Kerala FC will take on Sudeva Delhi FC in the sixth-round fixture of the I-League 2022-23 at the Payyanad Stadium in Manjeri on Wednesday, December 7.
The defending champions return to their home turf after facing a series of disappointing results since their back-to-back wins at the start of the season. The Malabarians have dropped seven points in their last three games and are now eight points away from the top of the table. On the other hand, bottom-club Sudeva Delhi are yet to open their account, having lost all of their opening four matches.
Both teams will look forward to switching the momentum in their season, however, history favours Gokulam Kerala. The Malabarians have faced Sudeva twice in the last two seasons, winning both without conceding a goal. They will hope to extend that run in front of their passionate home fans in Manjeri.
Addressing the media at the pre-match press conference, Gokulam Kerala head coach Richard Towa talked about his expectations from the contest. “It will not be an easy game. They have had a difficult start but in this league, we cannot say that any team will be easy to beat. I am sure they will be prepared for tomorrow and so are we.” he said.
On the team’s lack of goals, the Cameroonian coach said, “I think we haven’t scored many goals, it’s what we are working on at the training ground. Offensively we have to improve. We have been getting many chances in the matches and we are working with the players to convert those chances.”
Towa expressed his excitement about returning to Kerala. “We have played many matches on the run and it has been difficult for us with so much travelling. We are very happy to come back home, the players need this. Towa said.
Sreekuttan VS, who has appeared in all five matches for Gokulam, agreed with his coach’s comments, “We were travelling without much rest and this has taken a toll on our performances. We’re now back in our home stadium and I think this will bring more energy to players.” the winger said.
The Sudeva Delhi head coach Atsushi Nakamura provided an update on the squad for tomorrow’s game, “Kosuke (Uchida) is slightly injured. The team is quite happy and raring to go. We are very eager”
Even after the difficult start to the campaign, Nakamura was positive for the future. “Yes, we have suffered but are very optimistic about our approach towards the rest of the league. Our initial expectation is to get out of the relegation zone and look for a top-five finish” the Japanese said.
Goalkeeper Kabir Kohli, who made his first start of the season against Rajasthan United, said, “Nothing much has changed in the dressing room in terms of our motivation. It’s still the same and of course, the players and the staff know that we’re in a tough situation right now and that we have to fight to get out of this situation.” (ANI)