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I-League 2023/24: Matchweek 3 Preview

The third round of games of I-League 2023/24 begins on 6th November 2023. Let’s look at the I-League 2023/24 Matchweek 3 Preview.

Last updated: 05.11.2023
I-League 2023/24: Gameweek 3 Preview

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The new season of the I-league is only its third round yet it has turned into a high-stakes affair already. None of the sides are willing to leave an inch this early as the challenge grows. A total of 17 strikes found the back of the net in a high-scoring second round with more than three goals scored in two games by three sides. The upcoming matches also promise to maintain the same level and excitement with some tasty fixtures to look forward to in the game week three.        

Sreenidi Deccan maintained their stay on top of the I-League and are hoping to carry their winning form in their third straight home game. Real Kashmir and Gokulam Kerala will push them to the limits in the early exchanges. Star-packed Inter Kashi hopes to overturn their poor start to the season placing a low tenth after two games. While Aizawl FC, Rajasthan FC and bottom-ranked Neroca FC are wishing to open their account this week.      

Monday, 6 November 2023  


Namdhari FC vs Inter Kashi - Namdhari Stadium, Bhaini Sahib (14:00)

A clash between the two new corporate sides in the I-League with Namdhari FC hosting Inter Kashi in Punjab. The home side played a goalless draw against Churchill Brothers and earned a point in their first-ever game. Francesc Bonet will want his team to build on that to gain something out of facing a stronger side, at least on paper. Inter Kashi is set to play their third consecutive away game but is yet to secure three points. They began the season by sharing points as well, a 2-2 draw with title contenders Gokulam Kerala FC, although the joy did not last long as Sreenidi ran riot over them by securing a 4-1 victory in their second game. The challenge for the side now is to not let their morale down and battle for their very first competitive win since their inception. However, Inter Kashi needs an urgent fix in their defence otherwise title contention will soon change into a distant talk for the side.              

Tuesday, 7 November 2023 

Sreenidi Deccan vs Aizawl - Deccan Arena, Hyderabad (16:30)

With back-to-back wins with four goals scored in each to start the season, Sreenidi Deccan are beaming with confidence as they take on Aizawl in their third straight game at Deccan Arena. Beginning the campaign with a 4-0 victory over Neroca, Sreenidi maintained their scoring spree smacking four more goals past Inter Kashi this time. The clean sheet was not preserved in the 4-1 win but the Deccan Warriors will hardly care as they dominated the entire game. They lead the chart on goal difference, level on points with Real Kashmir in second, seeking their third straight victory. On the other hand, Aizawl’s trip to Naihati to face Mohammedan in the opener did not go to plan as they lost 2-1. The mountainous side had to thank their goalkeeper Vanlalhriatpuia for not sustaining further damage on the evening. However, the challenge becomes bigger for them with league leaders to face next on the travel although they restricted the Hyderabad club twice last season.                   

Mohammedan SC vs TRAU - Naihati Stadium, Naihati (19:00)

Star striker David Lalhlansanga’s goal off the bench rescued a point for Mohammedan SC in the 1-1 draw against promoted side Shillong Lajong. The Black Panthers though failed to find a winner like in their opener against Aizawl after trailing at halftime. It was a disappointing result for the Kolkata side who wanted more from the game to move up the chart. Hope will be now to get back to winning ways against another northeast side, TRAU in the third straight home game at Naihati. Mohammedan haven’t lost this fixture in the last three meetings including a 1-0 success at home albeit in Kishore Bharati Krirangan in the previous season. The Imphal-based side will dream about something similar to the 4-0 success they had in this meeting in Kolkata back in 2021. However, Losing 1-0 to Real Kashmir after a 1-1 draw against Delhi FC in the opener is not an encouraging start to the season. TRAU could be motivated about their fellow side’s turnout at the venue recently but they have not reflected their heights two years ago and will be an underdog again.

Wednesday, 8 November 2023

Real Kashmir vs Churchill Brothers - TRC Turf Ground, Srinagar (14:00)

One of the two sides to secure back-to-back wins to start the 2023/24 I-League season, the other being table-toppers Sreenidi Deccan, Real Kashmir will hope to keep up the momentum against Churchill Brothers. This will also be a third straight game at the Turf Ground in Srinagar. Ishfaq Ahmed’s side managed a slender win over TRAU through a lone strike from Jeremy Laldinpuia before half-time. Also managed a second straight clean sheet. Like them, their opposition Churchill Brothers in their third match of the season is yet to concede a goal after playing out a scoreless draw in the opener against Namdhari FC. The Goan side will now seek their first win of the season in another away trip to potentially dislodge the Snow Leopards from the second spot. After all, Churchill Brothers have not lost this fixture since the first meeting between the sides back in 2018.         

Thursday, 9 November 2023

Shillong Lajong vs Neroca - SSA Ground, Lajong (14:00)

Season’s first NorthEast derby will be played in the third match-week of the I-league with Shillong Lajong from Meghalaya hosting Neroca FC from Manipur. The Reds’s return to the I-League was encouraging securing a 1-1 draw against Mohammedan SC at Naihati in a game they could have won. New signing Takuto Miki scored a splendid volley in first-half stoppage time for the opener before David Lalhlansanga’s brilliant solo effort ended a thrilling game on level terms. With an unbeaten start, Lajong will wish to secure the first three points of the season against the winless and pointless Neroca team. The bottom-placed side conceded four goals in their opening two matches which is a real concern for their early hopes of avoiding relegation. In supposedly another tough away fixture, the Orange Brigade will hope to avoid another defeat. They have won three out of four meetings in the I-League so far including three points in their two visits to Lajong so far. Neroca could use this fixture to turn their season around although keeping a clean sheet is a huge problem for the team at the moment.     


Gokulam Kerala vs Rajasthan FC - EMS Stadium, Kozhikode (19:00)

After a disappointing 2-2 draw against Inter Kashi in the opener, Gokulam Kerala FC picked up their first win with a 4-1 triumph over Neroca FC in Kozhikode. Captain Alex Sanchez scored twice for the win the second coming from the spot while Nili Peredomo opened the scoring and substitute Emmanuel Justine rounded it off later on in the match. David Simbo getting one back just before for Neroca at 3-0 did not make any difference at the end as the Malabarians climbed third on the I-League table. Just two points away from the top spot, Gokulam will wish to create a winning streak with winless Rajasthan United visiting them. Despite Yash Tripathi’s cracking hat-trick, the Desert Warriors lost a thriller to promoted side Delhi FC which finished 4-3. Rajasthan once again conceded goals at the wrong moment as they did in the 2-0 loss to Real Kashmir in the opener. Head coach Pushpender Kundu will at least be happy with his boys’s effort to come back in the match and want to keep spirits high against a much more challenging trip than before. Adding to the worries, Rajasthan United have not managed a victory against Gokulam with the only positive being a draw in their first meet a year ago.

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