Calcutta: Reigning champions Churchill Brothers and Mohun Bagan are looking at big improvements in their performances when they meet in a second round I-League clash at the Duler Stadium in Goa on Saturday.
Both Churchill and Mohun Bagan are without a win in their opening rounds and their performance left a lot to be desired. Churchill, the defending champions, lost by a solitary goal against Salgaocar, while Mohun Bagan needed a last-minute goal to rescue a point against Bengalore FC.
On Saturday, the coaches believe things will be different.
“We will be much stronger than our opening match. I can vouch for that,” said Churchill Brothers technical director Sukhwinder Singh.
Sukhwinder will be encouraged by the return from injury of Gabonese striker Henri Antchouet while Portuguese midfielder Hugo Machado too has been declared fit to start the match.
“We have all of our players available,” said the former India coach.
Mohun Bagan will continue to miss the services of Nigerian striker Okolie Odafe and young Manish Bhargav, but coach Karim Bencharifa remains optimistic that his team can cope up with the deficit.
“We will be looking to make a few changes. I must confess that we are far from getting our best eleven together and every game gives you an opportunity to try out a few players. In the first four or five matches, we will try and find the best balance,” said Bencharifa.
Mohun Bagan needed a last-minute goal against Bangalore FC to save a point and Bencharifa expects a similar fighting match against Churchill.
“Just because they lost their opening match, it does not mean Churchill is a weakened side. For me they are the defending champions and will be hard to overcome. But I am confident in my own team and believe we can get a positive result,” said the Moroccan coach.