A win to get them back on track, defending champions Mumbai City FC will be hoping they can build on their momentum and return to the top four when they play fellow Indian Super League contenders Odisha FC at the PJN Stadium in Fatorda on Sunday. . Mumbai got back to winning ways with a 1-0 win over Chennaiyin FC to end their seven-game losing streak. They are sixth with 22 points from 14 games and another victory on Sunday could bring them back into the pack with the added advantage of having more games in hand than Hyderabad FC and Bengaluru FC.
In Odisha, Mumbai will face an opponent brimming with confidence after their victory against SC East Bengal. They are seventh in the table with 21 points from 15 outings and a win for them too will put them back in the top four. “Every game is very different. When you look at the table, yes there is a point that separates us from Odisha but there is a point between us and the teams in second place and one at the top. So it’s a league very tight and every game we play from now on will be important to us,” Mumbai coach Des Buckingham said.
Mourtada Fall and Ahmed Jahouh have extended their contracts for Mumbai during this time, and Buckingham was asked about the Fall team captain and what he brings to the table. “Fall brings a lot to this group. He brings real leadership on and off the pitch. Nobody really sees that but us. He’s a real leader.”
For the Islanders, Lallianzuala Chhangte has done well since joining their ranks and impressed against his former side Chennaiyin FC, winning the Hero of the Match award. Chhangte injects pace into the final third for Mumbai and with Bipin Singh on the other flank, Igor Angulo and Cassio Gabriel just behind Angulo, get the support they need from the flanks. Mumbai has also been effective from recent crosses, scoring eight floater goals so far, the most common by a side this season.
Odisha’s defense will have to be especially wary of Bipin’s away serve. Bipin’s two assists came from crosses and he also put in a cross which Pritam Kotal headed into his own net against ATK Mohun Bagan. Odisha have conceded from a cross in two of their last three engagements. “Both teams need three points if you want to be in the semi-finals. So for both teams it’s an important game. The schedule is also tight. We play a game in two days. We have five games to play, so we need to be focused and perform well match after match,” Odisha head coach Kino Garcia said.
The last time the two teams met, Odisha beat Mumbai 4-2 in one of their best results this season. (ANI)
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