KOLKATA: Former champions Chennai City FC would look to build on their winning start when they take on Real Kashmir FC in their second I-League match here on Friday.
Chennai City had rallied to beat Gokulam Kerala 2-1 in their campaign opener, but coach Satyasagara believes the clash against Real Kashmir will be a different ball game.
"Real Kashmir are title challengers this season and they are a very strong side. We are expecting a strong battle, but we will try to grab the early goal and take the lead," Satyasagara said.
"Against Gokulam, we played very decent football and the win has given us a lot of confidence. Credit goes to my players for showing fighting spirit and I am confident they can once again grab a win against Real Kashmir FC."
Though Real Kashmir played out a 1-1 draw against TRAU, their attacking prowess was very well on display. The snow leopards dominated possession and created chances at will.
Head coach David Robertson said, "We had enough chances to win the match. After the early goal, we struggled, but we could have won in the second half."
"Against Chennai, it won't be an easy outing. We know they are physically a very good side and we cannot afford to be complacent. We will have to be focused and start the match better than the last time around."
In another match at Kalyani, NEROCA FC will kick-start their I-League campaign against city rivals TRAU FC in the much-anticipated Imphal Derby.
NEROCA would aim to start the season on a winning note, head coach Gift Raikhan said.
"We have to work hard and play for the win. It is a very big and important match for us against TRAU as it is a local derby. However, TRAU are a very good team and they will present us with challenges," said Raikhan.
"Our strength is the youth. They are strong and are ready to go. However, they will take some time to settle in the Hero I-League and we aim to build match by match. The talent that we have is very good and we look forward to tomorrow.”
Asked about TRAU's Tajik import Komron Tursunov, who scored the fastest goal of the I-League in just nine seconds, Raikhan said, "We have a plan to deal with him. We will nullify him in front of goal."
Real Kashmir Vs Chennai City will KO at 2 PM IST.
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