You are currently viewing Hero I-League Matchday Fixtures

Hero I-League Matchday Fixtures

RoundGlass Punjab look to close gap on top against NEROCA

Second-place RoundGlass Punjab FC will play host to second from bottom NEROCA FC at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Panchkula on Sunday, January 8, 2023 at 2:00 PM IST.

If RoundGlass Punjab FC needed any extra motivation to start 2023 strongly, table-toppers Sreenidi Deccan provided that on Saturday afternoon, beating lowly Mumbai Kenkre FC. As a result of that win, the gap between RoundGlass Punjab and Sreenidi Deccan is now five points and Staikos Vergetis’ side cannot afford to drop points here on Sunday against NEROCA, who have struggled so far in this season of Hero I-League.

The home team has one of the strongest defences in the competition, and that defence has got further reinforcement in the form of Suresh Meitei, who could not join the team earlier because of formalities. Head coach Staikos Vergetis recognised his value in the pre-match press conference on Saturday, adding he is not expecting an easy match even though NEROCA are in the relegation zone at the moment. “They don’t deserve to be so low on the table,” he said. “I think they will have better results in upcoming games. They play good possessional game. It will not be an easy match for us tomorrow.”

Gokulam Kerala host Churchill Brothers in a battle of new Spanish coaches

Defending champions Gokulam Kerala will go up against a resurgent Churchill Brothers side in their Hero I-League 2022-23 fixture at the Payyanad Stadium in Manjeri on Sunday (January 8, 2023). The match will kick off at 4:30 PM IST.

At fourth position with four wins out of nine games, some might argue that the first half of the season went below par for the Malabarians, however, now the job of taking them to a third consecutive title has been given to Francesc Bonet, who will start his second stint in India after leading Rajasthan United last season.

Churchill Brothers had a catastrophic start to the current season, picking up just two points in their first five games, but managed to turn it around with three wins in their next four games, most recently a 6-1 thumping of TRAU. Now, coach Fernando Santiago Varela, formerly of Gokulam Kerala, will guide the Red Machines in the new year.

The two have faced each other on ten occasions. Last season, the spoils were shared 1-1 in the championship round, while Sharif Mukhammad scored the winner for Gokulam in the first stage. This time, the Afghan midfielder will feature for the visitors and is poised to play a key role tomorrow.

Gokulam Kerala head coach Francesc Bonet said, “I came in a week ago. I’ve enjoyed the training sessions, and I feel tomorrow will be a good match for us.” With just a week of preparatory time, Bonet feels the players have adapted well, and will only get better with time.”

Local forward Noufal PN has appeared in all matches for the Malabarians this season. “We have adapted to the style of the new coach and all the players are motivated. It is a crucial match and we need to win it.”

Bonet went on to acknowledge Churchill as a quality side. “Every team this season is good but I think Churchill are one of the best. They have a really good coach but irrespective, we will go for three points against any team.”