Match Preview: Chennaiyin FC vs Mumbai City FC

With the play-offs out of reach following the result in Delhi, Mumbai City FC travel down south to face Chennaiyin FC in the final league game of the season on Saturday, March 3 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai.

In what was a must-win game for the Islanders, the home side Delhi Dynamos showed up and continued their recent rampant form after shipping 5 goals past a hapless Mumbai City defence. The Dynamos took an early lead and while Mumbai City did manage an equaliser early on in the second half, a strong midfield performance from Manuel Arana and Matias Mirabaje inspired four goals in the last quarter of the game.

Our result in New Delhi meant that tomorrow’s opponents, Chennaiyin FC, secured a spot in the play-off for the third time in four seasons. The 2015 champions will definitely heave a sigh of relief after John Gregory’s side played out a goalless draw in their previous match against Kerala Blasters.

Speaking to the media in New Delhi after the loss, Alexandre Guimaraes said that ‘his side gave everything they had’ and that ‘he was proud of the way we have played this season’. With pride at stake in the final league game, a potential spot in the top 6 could be up for grabs as well which would mean a direct entry into the Hero Super Cup in April.

Where to watch it:

The game will kick off at 8pm IST and will be broadcast on the Star Sports Network, Hotstar and Jio TV for all viewers in India. For our global fans, you can find your broadcaster here. You can also follow live action on our official Twitter account - @MumbaiCityFC

Team News:

Following his red card against Delhi Dynamos, Sahil Tavora will miss out on the action tomorrow in Chennai. Furthermore, Alexandre Guimaraes is expected to make ‘some changes’ to the side for the final league game of the season.

John Gregory’s Chennaiyin FC, who sealed a spot in the top 4 for the third time in four years, are expected to field a strong side to finish as high as possible. Gregory, however, will be sweating over the fitness of senior full-back Inigo Calderon who might be a doubt for tomorrow’s league fixture.

History: 

Mumbai City FC and Chennaiyin FC have faced each other a total of 7 times with the latter edging the head-to-head by 4 wins to Mumbai City’s 2. The corresponding fixture from last season was the only draw played between the two sides. The game may have ended on level terms but it will be remembered for Leo Costa’s thunderous left-footed strike from 30 yards out to level the scores in the 87th minute.

When the two sides met earlier this season, Leo Costa watched from the sidelines with an injury. But an ice-cool penalty from Achille Emana sent Chennaiyin FC’s Karanjit Singh the wrong way, and earning 3 crucial points in the process.

The Brazilian, now back in the side, will be eager to repeat his heroics from the last time he was in Chennai. Only this time, he will step on the pitch of the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on his 32nd birthday!

League Watch:

FC Goa registered a 5-1 win over ATK to consolidate their position for a finish in the top 4 with only a draw in their final game vs Jamshedpur FC enough to take them through. The win for Goa also meant the end of Kerala Blasters’ play-off hopes. In their following game, Kerala succumbed to two stoppage time goals against Bengaluru FC, ending their campaign with a loss.

The other fixtures of the week are:

Friday2nd March

Delhi Dynamos FC vs FC Pune City (Jawharlal Nehru Stadium, 8pm)

Sunday, 4th March

Jamshedpur FC vs FC Goa (JRD Tata Sports Complex, 5.30pm)

ATK vs NorthEast United (VYBK, 8pm)