The hosts are currently at second position, while the visitors are fourth.
Mumbai City FC face a strong opponent in the guise of NorthEast United FC in their final home game of the league stage, in the ISL. The Islanders were on a good run of form until they suffered back-to-back setbacks against Jamshedpur FC and FC Goa. The Highlanders, on the other hand, have had a torrid run of results away from home. They are yet to win a game away from home since November.
The coaches of the two teams met in the pre-match press conference to discuss about the fixture to be played at the Mumbai Football Arena.
Jorge Costa (Mumbai City FC)
Mumbai are coming in to the game with two back-to-back defeats. They lost to FC Goa at home, and then Jamshedpur FC defeated them at their fortress. Consequently, any coach would feel the heat of the job. But Costa insists that it is the same and that his job has always been a one having pressure all the time.
He said, “No it’s the same, the same pressure. I understand the question. Every week you have a game, and the pressure is high than before.”
Costa has beaten NorthEast in the first game between the two sides earlier this season. And the Highlanders don’t have a good track record while traveling. So when questioned if Costa thinks of the game to be an easy one, he said, “No, it won’t be an easy game.”
“We are talking about one of the best teams in Indian football that plays one of the best game. They have some of the best players and especially the foreigners. They are having a special season. I am not stupid, it’s not an easy game,” explained Costa.
Costa insists that he isn’t going to change the way his side plays despite of the comments made by NorthEast counterpart Eelco. Eelco had claimed to be well aware of what Mumbai does, and that they have a pattern in their gameplay.
“I must have one. I must have. I am not going to tell you that though. I am not going to change the way we play. I can change one or two players, but I won’t change the way we play.”
Eelco Schattorie (NorthEast United FC)
Eelco doesn’t agree with the fact that his team has been not on track for the past few games, despite dropping points to Delhi, Bengaluru and Goa. Instead, he opined that his team just lacks the squad depth a team needs.
“I find it unbelievable when you say that we have lost the track. We have lost only two times this season. There’s something in football called the depth of your team. Against Bengaluru, we created so many chances, if we had lost the track, we wouldn’t have.”
Mumbai’s two consecutive losses provides Eelco the opportunity of striking the iron when it’s hot. If NorthEast have to put an end to their poor run away from home, now is the time to. When asked if he thinks of it to be his best chance, he replied, “That could be very relevant.”
He went on to explain, “The last two games they played, they missed their striker and first team winger. I know what exactly their strengths and weaknesses are. And that could be an advantage for us. But again, we have our own players to deal with.”
For Eelco, Mumbai City have a pattern which is known to everyone, but is difficult to put a halt on. But he’s confident that with right luck, his team might be able to do it.
“I think you don’t have to be a football professor to know that. Their main arsenal is their speed, the two forwards – the striker and the right winger. Then there’s the Brazilian left winger who passes the ball really well, and finally their captain Machado. They have very predictable patterns, but to eliminate them, it’s not easy.”
Mumbai City FC
Mumbai have Subhasish unfit. Arnold will be back in the attack.
TP Rehneesh and Mislov Komorski are injured along with three others who aren’t deemed to be game-fit.
Mumbai City FC
NorthEast United FC
Pawan (GK), Ogbeche, Khawlrhing, Gallego, Tiang, Triadis, Borges, Leuda, Robert, Mato, Reagen.
Did You Know?
- Mumbai has the most cleansheets this season – 7.
- NorthEast are the third best crossers in the league.
- Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and Amrinder Singh have taken 96+ minutes to concede a goal – joint highest.
The match will take place on Wednesday at 7:30 PM at Mumbai Football Arena in Mumbai. On television, the match will be live on Star Sports. Meanwhile, it will also be streamed on Hotstar and Jio TV