Mumbai City FC will be looking to register their first victory when they face Kerala Blasters, who have won their opening fixture against ATK, at Manjappada’s home.
Both teams will be desperate for a victory tomorrow. While Kerala Blasters will be hoping to continue their fine performance and register a thumping victory in front of the vociferous Manjappada, Mumbai City will be eager to bounce back and earn their first points of this season. Ahead of the clash, Kerala Blasters’ David James and Mumbai City FC’s Jorge Costa met with the press.
David James (Kerala Blasters)
James was asked whether the decision to field two foreigners upfront would backfire their performance elsewhere on the field. However, the former Liverpool custodian refuted such claims and lauded Slavisa and Matej for their brilliant performance against ATK.
He said, “I can’t say it has been lack of options. I think we have got so many great players, we have got so many players who have been training to put them in a position to be selected. For any manager, the difficulty is when you have got a fully fit squad all ready to go and training well, then the selection process becomes an issue. But the two guys [Slavisa and Matej] upfront did well.”
“Watching the video back, we created a lot of chances in the last game, we created a lot of chances from a lot of different players, it was not just two-guys upfront. CK came on and had opportunities.” he added.
Last season, scoring goals was a problem for David James’s side. When asked what he had instilled into this squad, given KBFC’s attackers were lethal against ATK, he said, “It’s not about magic, it is about giving players the belief. If you give players the belief, they can fulfil their potential. I know this is young players they have got time on their side. The squad we have got is young, that is amazing. However, they have to use that and maximize their opportunity.”
David James responded positively when asked about the three breaks ISL will witness this season. He said, “I think we have to congratulate Indian Football for giving time for the International teams to progress. I think this is a statement to the improvement of the Indian national team. “
Jorge Costa (Mumbai City)
Costa will be hoping his side record a victory
Jorge Costa was asked if he would try anything different against Kerala Blasters. The former Portugal international said, “I am not happy with the result. We had two different plans. In the first half, we had nothing special. In the second half, we created chances to score. “
Kerala Blasters are known for their fan base, Manjappada, who come in numbers and cheer for their side. The coach was asked if it would have any impact on the result. The coach said, “At this moment, we are in different situations. They have three points, we have zero. This is not an excuse but this is the reality that we played two days ago. I could do nothing with the players. Today I was flying in the morning.”
He was also asked to give updates on Vignesh and Sehnaj, but the coach said that he would not give at least until the end of the game. He said, “I don’t like to speak on individuals. Maybe after the game, but not before it. Eleven players will surely start tomorrow. I hope will try to play the best eleven.”
It is expected that Kerala Blasters will field their strongest eleven tomorrow. David James hinted that he has a fully-fit squad available for tomorrow. Serbian Nemanja Lakic Pesic will pave the way for Cyril Kali if the Frenchman has achieved complete fitness.
Mumbai City FC
Jorge Costa admitted that they have two players struggling with injury, Sehnja and Davinder. It is expected that Raynier Fernandes will have a place in Mumbai City FC’s midfield tomorrow.
Dheeraj, Lalruatthara, Jhingan, Cyril Kali, Haokip, Kizito, Krcmarevic, Prasanth, Slavisa, Narzary, Matej.
Mumbai City FC
Amrinder (GK), Subhashish, Kilsura, Goian, Shouvik Chakraborty, Sehnaj, Paulo Machado, Mirabaje, Alen, Raphael.
Did You Know?
- Mumbai City have now gone nearly four halves of football without scoring a goal.
- Former Mumbai star man Diego Forlan scored a hat-trick against these opponents in the reverse fixture in November, 2016.
- Mumbai are yet to win against Kerala in Kochi.
The match will take place tomorrow at 7:30 PM, at Kochi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. On television, the match will be live on Star Sports. It will also be streamed on Hotstar and Jio TV.