Margao: Churchill Brothers will look to get back to winning ways when they take on arch rivals Sporting Clube De Goa in a crucial encounter of the I-League at Nehru Stadium here tomorrow.
Sporting, who were placed second before the break, posed a serious threat to table topper Bengaluru FC. But their topsy-turvy results after the break, when they lost four out of seven matches, pushed them to third place with 32 points from 21 matches.
Victory against Rangdajied United in the last match has revived their hope and they now need to win the three remaining matches to keep themselves in fray for the title.
Defending champions Churchill Brothers looked good after they won the Federation Cup with ease and looked to carry forward their good run in the I-League winning against Rangdajied, Pune FC, drawing against East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, moving above relegation team Rangdajied and Mohammedan. But two demoralising defeats against Bengaluru FC and Dempo SC placed them back into the relegation and they are now placed 12th with 18 points from 19 matches.
A win in tomorrow's match is crucial as they now have five matches and cannot afford to drop points as they are just one point above the bottom-placed Mohammedan Sporting.
Churchill Brothers who beat Sporting in the first leg will have Satish Singh back in the squad after serving a one-match suspension.
While Saran Singh, Sanjay Balmuchu, Raju Yumnam and Bineesh Balan will have to pass a late fitness test to make it to the squad. With Cristhnian Lagos leaving for home for personal reason, Balwant Singh who is in good scoring form will have to spearhead the charge with Anthony Wolfe.
Churchill's Technical Director, Subhash Bhowmick, said, "The spirit of the team is high, however the lads have not recovered properly after their trip to Singapore. The team spent an entire day travelling and that has taken a toll on several players. The boys will give their best and try to get all three points from this crucial encounter.
"Sporting are a good team. They have an intelligent coach and a favourable mix of youth and experience," he said.