The Islanders are on a five-match winless run, three of which have been defeats.
Mumbai City FC will know they have a golden opportunity to snap a five-game winless run when they take on rock-bottom NorthEast United FC in the 2021-22 Indian Super League at the PJN Stadium in Fatorda on Tuesday.
Mumbai are out of the top-four in the points table for the first time this season, sitting in fifth place tied on points with Hyderabad FC on 17 from 11 games. Even if Hyderabad beat SC East Bengal on Monday, a win for Mumbai would mean they go level on points with League leaders Kerala Blasters who are also on 20 points but with a game in hand.
NorthEast United are last in the table having only nine points to show for from 13 games. But, the defending champions are undergoing a wretched run with no wins in the last five games and against NorthEast United who have not won in their last six games, losing four of them, the Islanders would heavily fancy their chances.
Mumbai City FC
Head coach Des Buckingham would want his side to improve defensively after Mumbai leaked 13 goals in their last 5 matches. They have conceded 3 goals in each 4 of their 5 matches. In the 6 matches, before the winless run started, they conceded more than 2 goals in a match only once. The Islanders conceded 7 goals in the first 6 matches of the season. They have been conceding more goals, shots, and shots on target in their last 5 matches.
“In the last few games we have played some good football but it is just that, we have not been able to come up with the results. With 9 games to go, we are in a good position to finish off strongly in the second half of the season. It starts with NorthEast tomorrow. In fact, I was impressed with the way they played their last game. They could have ended the game at least with a result as they had a lot of chances in the game,” said Buckingham.
NorthEast United displayed a gritty performance in their last game and were unlucky not to get anything out of it. Marcelinho looked razor-sharp in the last game since coming on and so did Marco Sahanek, their two January transfer window signings.
The Highlanders’ troubles in holding onto leads would bother head coach Khalid Jamil. Despite taking a lead in their 2-1 loss to Chennaiyin FC, NorthEast United conceded two goals in quick succession to lose grip of the game. NorthEast United have dropped points from winning positions in five of their last 6 games.
The last time the two sides met, it was a tasty encounter that ended in a 3-3 draw.
Des Buckingham will have the majority of his players at his disposal as only Vikram Pratap Singh and Diego Mauricio are sidelined for the game against NorthEast United. Vikram Singh sustained an injury on 20th December and the extent of damage, as well as his return, remains undisclosed. Newcomer Diego Mauricio will be quarantining himself following his return to the ISL from Al-Shahania SC.
NorthEast United are likely to take a call on Deshorn Brown after the final training session, while Rochharzela is ruled out due to a season-ending injury.
Mumbai City FC and NorthEast United have faced each other 15 times in ISL history. The Islanders currently lead the H2H record with seven wins, while the Highlanders have won five. NorthEast United though have had the edge in recent times and are unbeaten against the defending champions in their last three meetings. The reverse fixture between these two ended in a 3-3 draw.
Mumbai City (4-2-3-1): Mohammad Nawaz (GK); Amey Ranawade, Mourtada Fall (C), Rahul Bheke, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy; Lalengmawia, Ahmed Jahouh; Raynier Fernandes, Cassinho, Bipin Singh; Igor Angulo.
NorthEast United (4-3-3): Subhasish Roy Chowdhury (GK); Provat Lakra, Patrick Flottmann, Mashoor Shereef, Gurjinder Kumar; Hernan Santana (C), Imran Khan, Sehnaj Singh; Marcelinho, Marco Sahanek, VP Suhair.
Did You Know?
- Mumbai City are winless in their last five games since their loss to Kerala Blasters in game week seven.
- NorthEast United have lost three of their last five games while securing only two points from two draws in the rest.
- Mumbai City’s Igor Angulo sits in second place on the top goalscorer charts with eight goals while NorthEast United hitman Deshorn Brown is a close third with six goals.
The Mumbai City FC vs NorthEast United match will be played at the PJN Stadium in Fatorda on January 25 (Tuesday). The game will be telecast live on the Star Sports Network. The match will also be live streamed on the Disney+Hotstar platform and the JioTV app.