Panchkula, Nov 19 (IANS) Hosts RoundGlass Punjab FC and Mohammedan Sporting Club will lock horns in an all-important encounter of the I-League 2022-23 season at Tau Devi Lal Stadium, here on Sunday.
Punjab FC will be looking to build on their 2-1 victory against Sreenidi Deccan FC in the opening round while Mohammedan will seek their first win after going down narrowly (0-1) against champions Gokulam Kerala FC on the inaugural day of the new season.
The two teams faced off twice during the last campaign — with Punjab winning 3-1 first followed by a thrilling 2-2 draw in the Championship phase.
Addressing the media at the pre-match press conference, RoundGlass Punjab FC head coach Staikos Vergetis stated that he plans to carry on with the same style of play as the last game.
“The mood in the team is very good. We know that we face a difficult opponent tomorrow and they have a lot of strong points. We have analyzed and discussed them with the players. With the match after this only a few days away, I will look to make some changes to add more energy to the team and ensure the players are not fatigued. The way we play, however, will remain the same,” said Vergetis.
Defender Shankar Sampingiraj is expecting a tough match against Mohammedan SC.
“We have a mature team with experienced players and also a lot of youngsters knocking on the doors of the starting XI. We are expecting a tough match tomorrow. Mohammedan Sporting have a rich history and will be looking to come back after a loss. They have retained their core team from the last season as well, which should make it a challenging game,” said Sampingiraj.
On the other hand, Mohammedan head coach Andrey Chernyshov sounded confident ahead of the important match.
“We have had one week to prepare for this match. We have seen what we did right and wrong against Gokulam Kerala, and wins and losses are part of football. We have spoken and discussed with the players, and are ready for Punjab, who won their last game. The players know what they must do tomorrow to get the three points,” Chernyshov said.
After missing the opening match of the season owing to injury, Mohammedan marksman Marcus Joseph is expected to make his return on Sunday.
“Tomorrow will be my first match of the new season and I am determined to get back to the starting lineup and rebuild my confidence. Punjab are a very good team, and we are a strong unit as well. We need to stay focused and come together to try and win the match,” Joseph said.