After a long international break, Mumbai City are back in action with a Champions League away trip to Iran. The Islanders will take on Iranian side Nassaji Mazandaran at the picturesque Azadi Stadium in Tehran on Tuesday night with action kicking off at 7:30PM IRST (9:30PM IST).
The Islanders come into their penultimate Group D fixture after a spirited performance against Al Hilal on the other side of the international break. The Islanders took on Asia’s most successful club and the star studded Saudi Pro League side in matchday 4 of the AFC Champions League at the DY Patil Stadium. Mumbai City saw a couple of chances go begging early on in the game where they could have taken a welcome lead. The Islanders held their own until midway through the second half, with the score remaining goalless, before Mehtab Singh received his marching orders after a second yellow card. The visitors capitalized on their numerical advantage and scored twice in the remaining 20 minutes courtesy of Michael and Mitrovic to run out 2-0 winners.
Nassaji Mazandaran, who came out on top in matchday 1 in Pune with a 2-0 win, come into tonight’s fixture off the back of a rocky patch of form. Mehdi Rahmati’s side have seven losses and a draw in their last eight games including defeats to fellow Group D opponents Navbahor Namangan and Al Hilal and currently sit second from bottom in the Persian Gulf League.
Coach Anthony Fernandes attended the customary pre-match conference here in Tehran and despite the host’s form, Fernandes was wary of the threat the Iranian club can pose especially in their home setting. “I’m looking forward to the match. It is going to be very competitive for us as a team. We are going to try to go for a win and I think, even Nassaji would be aiming for the three points again. Nassaji are one of the top teams in Asia, we know that. Talking about the team’s quality, we played against them in our previous game and we know what to expect from them and what we are supposed to do as a team to get the better of them,” said Fernandes.
The Islanders’ captain Rahul Bheke, who attended the media briefing alongside Fernandes, echoed the coach’s sentiments and called upon his teammates to use their past experience against the Iranian club as he said, “We played with them (Nassaji) last time at our home, we know how the team is. We have an idea of the way they played against us in our previous game and as a team, we are well prepared and are looking forward to this challenge.”
Mumbai City will be without the services of Jorge Pereyra Díaz (3 yellow cards) and Mehtab Singh (red card vs Al Hilal) in tonight’s fixture in Tehran.
Nassaji Mazandaran will be without defender Amirmohammad Houshmand who will sit out due to a suspenseion.
Where To Watch
The game will kick off at 7:30 PM IRST (9:30 PM IST) today, 28th of November 2023 and will be broadcasted on Sports 18 and Fancode. For our global fans, you can find your broadcaster here (https://gtly.to/hu4_hoOGI) or follow all the action LIVE on our official Twitter account - @MumbaiCityFC.