Erratic Mumbai host high-flying Chennai in heavyweight clash
Written by: Sabin Castelino
The Isllanders will look to make the most of home advantage as they seek to defy a poor record against the in-form visitors.
The visiting squad of Chennaiyin FC took a jolt after the loss to FC Goa at home in their first game and that woke them up with a bang as they have gone on to win the next three games. Although, their first away game of the season against FC Pune City seemed to be a drab affair they got the win and performed well against ATK in their recent encounter.
Chennaiyin have, in John Gregory, a coach with immense experience and view to develop youngsters and help them be capable of first-team performances. To supplement this quality, he also has a strong contingent of foreigners who turned out passionately for the Marina Machans. The Englishman will look to win away against Mumbai and propel themselves atop the table.
Mumbai City on the other hand, have been performing quite pragmatically and have taken it one game at a time. Alexandre Guimares is a shrewd tactician and knows that it is going to be a long road ahead, considering that he still has three players ruled out for extended durations.
Currently, Mumbai seem to be focussing on making the Mumbai Football Arena a fortress. They seem poised to reach the top four, but will gleefully accept any standing as long as it is in the playoff places. Chennaiyin are going to give it their all but Mumbai will look to make it back-to-back home wins, after their success against FC Goa.
Mumbai City have a trident of injuries to three very good players and will depend on the versatility of the rest of the squad to push them over the line in the upcoming fixture. Leo Costa, Aiborlang Khongjee and Zakeer Mundampara seem to be out for extended periods and can’t be expected to kick the ball anytime before mid-January.
Guimaraes chose to play Davinder Singh in the game against Kerala Blasters instead of the erring Raju Gaikwad and that payed off well as Davinder put in a decent performance and avoided any major mistakes. Meharajuddin Wadoo started las time around and seemed to know what he was doing. Balwant Singh is sure to start despite the niggling injury he his carrying.
Chennaiyin on the other hand reach Mumbai with a tired but fit squad, having to play their 3rd match in 10 days. Jeje Lalpekhlua seems to be working hard and has been praised by the manager for his game sense and positioning. Jerry Larinzuala has been performing well as a full-back and Raphael Augusto seems to know exactly how to marshal the midfield.
Chennaiyin come into the game as favourites based on the past matches between the two teams. Chennayin have tasted defeat only once and have defeated Mumbai on four occasions. The Islanders have managed one win while one other game has ended in a draw.
Man to Watch
Amrinder Singh-Mumbai City FC: Amrinder Singh has made a fine start to the season. He was instrumental in the Islanders' victory over FC Goa at home. With the game still in the balance, the former BFC custodian made a diving save to deny Ferran Corominas. Amrinder will be hoping that the visitors' attacking unit will have another off day.
Jeje Lalpekhlua-Chennaiyin FC: Jeje had an excellent outing against ATK and will look to build on that against Mumbai as he has an excellent record at the Mumbai Football Arena and has somewhat of a fanbase here. If he scores here on Sunday, it will surely be a reward for the trust placed on him by the manager.
Did You Know
- Mumbai City FC have scored only four goals in six games against Chennaiyin FC while the visitors have put in 14 against the Islanders.
- Mumbai City have not kept even a single clean sheet so far this season.
- Mumbai City’s captain Lucian Goian has made 11 crucial interceptions and leads the chart in the league ahead of visiting captain Henrique Sereno who has made 9.
The match will be broadcast live on Star Sports 2 and Stars Sports 2 HD from 8.00 pm onwards. It will be also available for live streaming on Hotstar and Jio TV.
Published: Sat Dec 09, 2017 09:30 PM IST