NEUFC will look to climb up the points table with a win over the league leaders.
NorthEast United FC will look to duck the Monday ‘blues’ and come out making merry when they take on league leaders Mumbai City FC in the Hero Indian Super League at the PJN Stadium in Fatorda on Monday.
NorthEast United are placed ninth in the 11-team points table, managing only two wins in eight games. They lost their previous encounter to ATK Mohun Bagan but showed a fighting spirit. Two days after Christmas and with the New Year fast approaching, Khalid Jamil’s boys will be desperate to put on a ‘festive’ show for their fans with a win against Mumbai City FC.
The Islanders are reeling from a shock 0-3 defeat to Kerala Blasters FC and would be raring to get back on track against NorthEast United who have been inconsistent and lacking balance.
The Highlanders’ shining light so far has been VP Suhair who became NorthEast United’s all-time leading Indian scorer after scoring against ATK Mohun Bagan. He has scored 6 goals for the Highlanders, overtaking Seiminlel Doungel (5).
Suhair has really thrived under Jamil, and this is shown by the remarkable improvement in his goalscoring rate shot quantity and the rate at which he is creating chances.
“They are a good team. We can beat them and we need to have the belief. We must as a team and as one unit,” Jamil said.
Mumbai would like to believe the loss to Kerala was just a blip in their rich run of form. With 15 points from seven matches, the Des Buckingham-coached side would look to consolidate their place at the top of the tree. Mumbai have 9 different players contributing to a goal or an assist this season. They have 5 players with more 3 or more goal contributions.
No team has more players with 3 or more contributions this season. Igor Angulo has scored 5 goals while Ahmed Jahouh has 5 assists. Apart from these two, Bipin Singh, Ygor Catatau and Cassio Gabriel have three goal contributions each, underlining a collective effort in the attacking third.
Mumbai also have goals coming from across the pitch and through all forms. They have 9 goals via set pieces, the highest among any team this season. Their tally of 8 open play goals is
bettered only by ATK Mohun Bagan (11) and Kerala Blasters (10).
“Every team in this league is capable of beating anybody. We have seen that happen not only in our games but overall. Our job is to prepare and make sure we keep working hard,” Buckingham said.
Mumbai City and NorthEast United have played each other 14 times. The Highlanders have 5 wins while the Islanders have 7 wins. Mumbai have won more games against NorthEast United than they have won against any other opposition.
Des Buckingham will be without his captain Mourtada Fall and left-back Vignesh Dakshinamurthy. Fall went off the pitch during Mumbai’s 3-0 loss against Kerala Blasters after an indirect suspension and will miss his next match through a one-match ban. Vignesh remains sidelined as his return from injury remains uncertain. Apart from these players, Buckingham will have the option to employ his preferred starting XI from an otherwise match-ready squad.
Khalid Jamil’s team has quite a few absentees as Emmanuel Lalchhanchhuaha, William Lalnunfela, Federico Gallego and Deshorn Brown are all out injured. Gallego will likely return only in May 2022 while the others’ return dates have not been specified. Additionally, Brown is out with a hamstring injury. NorthEast United have an otherwise fit roster, and Jamil can field his favoured starting lineup.
NorthEast United (4-3-3): Subhasish Roy Chowdhury (GK); Provat Lakra, Patrick Flottman, Jestin George, Gurjinder Kumar; Khassa Camara, Imran Khan, Pragyan Gogoi; Rochharzela, Mathias Coureur, VP Suhair.
Mumbai City (4-2-3-1): Nawaz (GK); Ranawade, Mehtab, Bheke, Mandar Rao Dessai; Lalengmawia, Jahouh; Raynier Fernandes, Cassinho, Bipin Singh; Angulo.
Did you know?
- NorthEast United have the most losses among all teams in the ISL this season (five) while Mumbai City have the least (two).
- NorthEast United already have more losses than they had for the entirety of last season (three).
- Mumbai City and NorthEast United have never played out a goalless draw amongst themselves.
The NorthEast United vs Mumbai City match will take place at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa. The game will kick-off at 7:30 pm IST. Star Sports Network will LIVE telecast the match, while live streaming is available on the Disney+Hotstar platform and the JioTV app.