Srinagar, Jan 27: After brilliant unbeaten display in six back to back away matches in I-League, Real Kashmir FC is going to take on table toppers Chennai City FC on its home turf TRC Turf ground here on Monday.
In the clash, Real Kashmir sitting at third place on points table would like to continue their winning form against the South Indian giants. It will be an important clash for both sides as if Real notches up another win against their South India rivals, it will spice up race for the title.
Only five points separate three sides at the top of points table. Chennai with 30 points is leading the race while as Churchill Brothers with 28 stands are at second place.
Real Kashmir will be playing its first match in 45 days on home turf after playing six back to back away clashes. In the away run second division I-League champions emerged as unbeaten and even went to shock teams like Chennai and Mohun Bagan in the process.
While Chennai is free flowing who have been scoring goals at will, Real Kashmir is the best defensive side in the whole league. It will be clash between top attacking side and best defensive side. So far in the league Chennai City have suffered just one defeat in 13 matches and that also came against Real Kashmir.
In a pre-match press conference Real Kashmir Coach David Robertson said that his team is happy to be back home after being on away journey for around 45 days.
“We are going to play against best team in the league. Chennai is most consistent team in the league and we know it is going to a tough game against a top side. Chennai is good side, difficult to play against and our defense will need to be at its best against them,” Robertson said.
“We are coming back to home after successful away journey and will like to carry on momentum. In the first game both of us were unknown to each other. But today it would be different case with both teams knowing each other well. It is not going to be easy outing tomorrow,” he said.
He said that Real Kashmir FC would be without its top three players against Chennai City today and the other players have to step up.
“Krezo and Mason are out for the game with injury while as Kafee is suspended. In their absence the incoming players have to step up their game. Chennai will keep possession so we have to adapt our game and can’t keep chasing the ball,” he said.
Chennai City FC coach Akbar Nawaz will be banking on the performance of its forward line lead by Pedro Manzi, Nestor Gordillo and Sandro Rodriguez and will like to go back with full points from the match.
“The one thing about Chennai City is that we are not Mohun Bagan or East Bengal who are in league to win titles. We are here to play competitive matches while as win or defeat are part of the game. Weather will not be a big problem and yes altitude would be a factor. But that is not case with Srinagar as we have played at higher altitude level than this,” he said.
“Real Kashmir is tough side to play against and they have got the momentum. They have got advantage of being second division champions and then carrying that form into this league. They are again fighting for the title. While we have scored most number of goals they have conceded less. So it is tough game today,” he added.