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Mumbai seek to overturn deficit against Kolkata in ISL playoffs

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Mumbai City FC will miss the services of their marquee Diego Forlan...

Diego Forlan’s absence could prove to be the biggest handicap for Mumbai City FC as they seek to overturn their first leg Indian Super League semi-final defeat against Atletico de Kolkata at Mumbai Football Arena, Mumbai, on Tuesday. Mumbai lost the first leg 2-3.

The Uruguayan striker who won the Golden Boot at South Africa 2010 was sent off in the first-leg with two yellow cards and will sit out of the all-important return clash. Four of Forlan’s five goals have come at Mumbai Football Arena and Mumbai City FC have not won a single game when Forlan has sat out, including a 1-1 draw against Atletico de Kolkata in Mumbai.

It is not just Forlan’s form upfront that Mumbai will miss. The Uruguayan is dangerous on set pieces -- both goals in the first leg came from Forlan set-pieces and he drops back in midfield to help the team move forward.

It’s not all gloomy for Mumbai. They have enjoyed a stellar campaign at home and much of it has come down to their ability to defend well.  They have conceded just three goals at home, the least among all teams, and their tally of four clean sheets at home is also the most by any team.

Atletico de Kolkata are the only team to have qualified for the playoffs in all three editions of the ISL and will be keen to make up for their disappointing semi-final loss against eventual winners Chennaiyin FC last season. The visitors will have an advantage as they need only a draw to book their tickets for Sunday’s grand finale in Kochi but head coach Jose Molina said they will not pack the defence and protect their win in Kolkata.

Team News

Both teams will miss their two key players going into this game. Atletico De Kolkata will miss their star defender Arnab Mondal with a hamstring injury while Mumbai City FC will miss the services of their marquee player Diego Forlan with suspension.

Head-to-Head

Both sides have had seven meetings between themselves before tomorrow’s contest and MCFC have won thrice and lost thrice with a draw in the opening encounter between these two sides in this edition.

Man to Watch

Iain Hume-Atletico De Kolkata: Iain Hume the leading goalscorer in ISL history has a total of five goals for ATK this season and has led the attack well. With quick feet and incisive finishing, the 33-year-old Canadian has been a threat for defenders throughout the league stage, and he was on target with a brace in Kolkata in the first leg and would like to continue his good form in Mumbai too.

Lucian Goian-Mumbai City FC; Undoubtedly one of the standout defenders this season, 33-year-old Romanian defender Lucian Goian has been a major factor in Mumbai’s excellent defensive record. The centre-back has completed the most number of tackles (67) so far and also has the highest number of interceptions and successful aerial duels for his team. With one goal to his name, he has proved he can come in handy in attack too. A tough nut to crack, Goian has seldom been outfoxed or outpaced and is very hard to take on. He has always made life difficult for forwards and will look to keep doing the same on Tuesday.

Probable Line-ups

Mumbai City FC (4-2-3-1): Amrinder, Gerson, Goian, Sena, Khongjee, Sehnaj, Vadocz, Sony, Deferdico, Sunil, Costa.

Atletico De Kolkata (4-2-3-1): Majumdar, Prabir, Kingshuk, Sereno, Keegan, Borja, Doutie, Pearson, Lalrindika, Postiga, Hume.

Broadcast

The match will be telecast live on Star Sports 1, Star Sports HD1, Star Gold, Star Gold HD, Jalsha Movies, Jalsha Movies HD, and Hotstar. You can also follow live commentary on Khel Now website by our ISL correspondent.

Photo Courtesy: ISL Media

Report by Khel Now Correspondent Kushankur Rony Rakshit. Sports passionate and content writer. He is big football and cricket fan.

Published: Mon Dec 12, 2016 09:07 PM IST

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