The Highlanders go up against the Islanders in what promises to be a grippy contest at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim as a part of Matchday 76.
Blast from the past:
It was a defensively sound Northeast United who got the better of the league leaders in their season opener as Kwesi Appiah’s spot kick handed the hosts their first win of the season.
Mumbai City FC:
The Islanders have come a long way ever since their only defeat of the season against Northeast United earlier in the season. They are on a 12 match undefeated run and have gone on to become to different side ever since their only defeat. The League leaders come into this tie following a 1-1 draw against Chennaiyin FC and will be looking to extend their unbeaten record further. They maintain the best defensive record as they have just let in 5 goals. Story is no different on the other end of the pitch as the City Football Group owned club posses one of the strongest forward lines this season.
“I am not worried about the first match. They have improved a lot with the new coach [interim head coach Khalid Jamil] in the last two games. They are playing very good attacking football and very comfortable keeping possession of the ball. For us it’s going to be a different game from the first leg but we have obviously improved from the first match of the season. It’s going to be a very good game and it’s not easy now to play against NorthEast,” Lobera said ahead of the game.
Northeast United FC:
The Highlanders have changed their own fortunes after the departure of Gerard Nus. Northeast United’s Interim head coach Khalid Jamil has given this side alot of confidence to build up on and his side has not disappointed him. Northeast United defeated ATK Mohun Bagan in their last outing, a game where they showed the kind of will and character they posses. The Highlanders will need to be on their best both defensively and offensively as playing against Mumbai City FC will be no easy given Mumbai’s track record in the seventh edition of the Hero ISL. Northeast United are moving in the right direction after a few rough patches and will be looking to build up on it.
“We need to dictate the play. We need to control the game. If we don’t have the ball, we need to defend well and in possession of the ball, we need to create chances and then utilize it. Big game for us tomorrow and that’s our main aim for tomorrow,” said assistant coach Alison Kharsyntiew at the Pre-match press conference.
Players to watch out for:
Amrinder Singh (Mumbai City FC)
The Indian International has been the major reason of Mumbai’s solid defensive unit. He has been in terrific form just his team this season. He is leading the Golden Glove charts are has let in 5 goals, the least in the league so far. His performance against Northeast United will surely be reflected on the scoreline.
Lalengmawia (Northeast United FC)
The Former U17 World cupper has already received applauds from the Indian footballing fraternity for his mature decision making in the middle of the park. He is also the youngest ever player to captian a Hero ISL outfit when he led his side against FC Goa. He has a huge influence in the Highlanders’ performance in the ongoing season.
Probable Starting XI:
Mumbai City FC (4-2-3-1) : Amrinder, Amay, Sarthak, Fall, Mandar, Hernan, Jahouh, Hugo, Rayneir, Bipin, Le Fondre.
Northeast United FC (4-3-3) : Subhasish, Ashutosh, Lambot, Fox, Provat, Camara, Lalengmawia, Gallego, Ninthoi, Machado, Suhair.