PUN vs GKFC Dream11: Minerva Punjab play host to Gokulam FC in a key I-League match at Guru Nanak Stadium, in Ludhiana on Monday. The hosts are second on the table, six points off leaders Mohun Bagan who defeated East Bengal in a fiercely-fought Kolkata derby on Sunday.
Gokulam FC are down at 5th but are only one point adrift of Punjab going into this game, and can end the round at 2nd place with a win in Ludhiana. So this is a very important game in the overall scheme of things as both teams eye all three points to keep pace with Bagan in the title race.
In terms of form, Minerva are unbeaten since losing 3-0 on opening day against Churchill Brothers. But they have won only two games int he subsequent seven games, drawing the last four.
Gokulam, on the other hand, are fresh off their 1-3 away win over East Bengal. That result ended a three-game winless run for the Kerala side, with two of those games ending in defeats.
Host: Minerva Punjab
Visitors: Gokulam FC
Match Venue: Guru Nanak Stadium
Match Timing: Monday, January 20, @02:00 PM
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When it comes to defence, Punjab have conceded 10 goals, two more than the Kerala side. Punjab also have two clean-sheets to show which is one better than Gokulam.
Minerva Punjab Team News: Samuel Shadap replaced Thoiba Singh Moirangthem at right-back in the last game against Mohun Bagan and did a good job against the leaders, while Asier Pierrick Dipanda Dicka replaced Girik Khosla upfront, and scored the opener against Bagan. We expect the duo to start again, as Minerva performed better against the leaders.
Cameroonian Dipanda Dicka said ahead of the game, “It will be a very difficult game, but we play at home. I think both Kisekka and I will do our best to be able to win this match to continue up there fighting for the title.”
Captain option from Minerva Punjab:
From Minerva, Dipanda Dicka and Brazilian Sergio Barboza should be the first choice for captain or vice-captain as they have notched up a combined six goals this season.
Gokulam FC team news: Gokulam FC head coach Fernando Valera was forced to make two changes for the East Bengal clash as both Zohib Islam Amiri and Mohamed Irshad were suspended for the last game due to their sending off in Gokulam's 2-3 home defeat against Chennai City. The duo is available for selection now, but Valera may stick with the same playing 11 that defeated East Bengal.
Ahead of the game, Gokulam captain Marcus Joseph said his team must build on the important win over East Bengal: “We need to hold our nerve and make sure there are no mistakes that we did in our last few matches are repeated. The win against East Bengal has lifted the morale and we need to keep the momentum going.”
“If we don't commit mistakes, I think we would be able to win the match and take all three points.”
Captain option from Gokulam FC:
Captain Trinidadian Marcus Joseph and Ugandan Henry Kisekka have scored seven times for Gokulam this season. The fact that the duo leads the line makes them a good choice for captain.
Minerva Punjab: Kiran Chemjong (GK), Samuel Shadap, Teah Dennis Jr., Danilo Quipapá, Anwar Ali, Yumnam Raju, Cavin Lobo, Sanju Pradhan, Makan Chote, Sérgio Barboza da Silva Júnior, Asier Pierrick Dipanda Dicka
Gokulam FC: Ubaid CK (GK), Wungngayam Muirang, Andre Ettienne, Jestin George, Sebastian Thangmuansang, Muthu Irulandi Mayakkannan, Shibil Muhammed, Salman Kalliyath, Naocha Huidrom Singh, Henry Kisekka, Marcus Joseph
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