Calicut, December 3: After almost five years, Hero I- League is all set to return to Kerala as Gokulam Kerala FC take on Chennai City FC at the EMS Corporation Stadium here on Monday (December 4).
Both the teams face each other after their losing their opening match. Gokulam Kerala FC lost to Shillong Lajong FC in a gritty match, 0-1, while Indian Arrows, the AIFF's development team, humiliated a sorry Chennai City FC, 3-0.
However, the home side is upbeat about its chances and confidence runs high among the players.
"This is our first home match. It's always great to play here. I was along with the Viva Kerala team, the previous I- League club from Kerala, and a return to the venue is an unforgettable experience," said GKFC coach Bino George.
They had put up a decent performance against Shillong Lajong FC and Bino is expecting his players to pep up the show during their home opener.
"We had a hostile weather but the boys did well. We could have won the match had we not lost several of our chances. I have worked on more on this problem and I hope the match would become a treat for the spectators," he said.
GKFC's Nigerian defender Chigozie would miss the match as he has injured his hamstring in the first match.
"We need to be more compact in defence and midfield. The unavailability of Chigozie is a loss but not a major concern as we have players to replace him," he added.
Meanwhile, Chennai City FC are trying to recoup from a humiliating loss against Indian Arrows.
The club from Tamil Nadu need to fix its porous defence that let three goals in the opener. The club coach admitted that the players are lacking experience in the top flight.
"Only three players have played top-tier football in the team. It will be a hard match against Gokulam at their home. We will try our best to not lose the match and save at least a point from the away game," said Soundrarajan, the coach of CCFC.
Match begins at 8pm and is live on Star Sports 2