I-League: Shillong Lajong hosts Gokulam Kerala in battle for pride

Both sides will be hungry for a win as Gokulam Kerala hasn't won a game in its last 11 games, while Shillong Lajong comes into the tie after two successive losses, including the 4-2 loss to table-topper Chennai City FC.

Shillong Lajong has lost 11 of its 13 matches this season and will look to salvage some pride when it hosts Gokulam Kerala on Friday .   -  AIFF Media

Shillong Lajong and Gokulam Kerala will lock horns in what can be billed as a battle to avoid relegation when when they clash in the I-League fixture here on Friday.

The game, featuring two of the bottom-places sides in the I-League, will give both teams a chance to salvage pride, given that their title aspirations are long gone. Lajong is currently placed at the bottom of the I-League table with 10 points from 17 games, while Gokulam is a spot above with 13 points from 16 matches.

In their previous encounter this season, Lajong suffered a 2-3 loss against Gokulam Kerala at the EMS Corporation Stadium in Calicut.

Both sides will be hungry for a win as Gokulam hasn't won a game in its last 11 games, while Lajong comes into the tie after two successive losses, including the 4-2 loss to table-topper Chennai City FC.

Kerala’s performance has seen some positive since Gift Raikhan's appointment. He has led the side to three draws and two losses in his give games incharge. “It’s very important for Gokulam to get the 3 points. Prestige and dream are high as we are fighting for relegation,” said Raikhan.

“We as well as Lajong are at the bottom so it’s important for both the teams. We will give our best tomorrow. This is my fifth match, as a coach, I always prepare for winning the game, rest is on God.

“Football is all about who plays better it’s not about Indian or foreign players”, he added.

Gokulam Kerala will bank on Trinidad and Tobago striker Marcus Joseph, who has scored three goals in the last five games.

On the Lajong’s major concern has been the finishing capability in the final third, along with its leaky defence, which has conceded 48 goals so far.

The combination of Ktboklang Pale, Phrangki Buam and Mahesh Singh Naorem have looked promising, and given the situation, the trio could change the scenario on their day.

Coach Alison Kharsyntiew said, “It’s all about preparing ourselves mentally and play(ing) well tomorrow. At the end of the 90 minutes, the best team wins. Our boys will hopefully play well tomorrow and get 3 points. They have to concentrate and be mentally prepared to play well.”

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