The new year has been anything but kind to the fortunes of Alexandre Guimaraes and his boys. The Islanders have recorded only one win in six games in an anticlimactic second half of the 2017-18 season. With four games remaining and the chances of a securing a play-off spot looking unpropitious, Mumbai City FC make the trip to the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, or the Salt Lake Stadium, to face defending champions ATK on Sunday, February 18.
After two successive losses and a fourth straight home defeat, the gaffer is keen to approach the final stretch of the season with a positive mindset. The 2-0 loss in the Maharashtra Derby a week ago has considerably hurt Mumbai City’s chances of a late push for a spot in the top 4. An own goal from Raju Gaikwad and a goal from Marcelinho sunk the Islanders.
ATK, too, have had a rocky start to 2018 with just one win and five losses in 8 games. With Teddy Sherringham relieved of his duties, technical director Ashley Westwood assumed the reigns at the Kolkata club. His side mustered a 2-2 draw after going behind twice to a revived Kerala Blasters side, ending a four match losing streak in the process.
The spirits haven’t dampened in the squad and according to Guimaraes , the squad is ‘raring to go’ in this final stretch of the season, starting in Kolkata.
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.
For the Islanders, captain Lucian Goian remains a doubt for tomorrow’s clash. To add to that list, head coach Alexandre Guimaraes indicated that Marcio Rozario among a few other will face late fitness tests ahead of the big kick off.
ATK interim coach Ashley Westwood confirmed that star striker Robbie Keane is back in training but will miss out on the clash against Mumbai. Tom Thorpe, too, picked up an injury in training and will be a doubt for ATK.
The teams will lock horns in Indian Super League for the 10th time tomorrow. The Islanders grabbed a 1-0 victory in this fixture in the league stage last season, albeit in a different stadium, courtesy a goal from Diego Forlan. It was a different story when Mumbai City made the trip to Kolkata for the first leg of the semi final, losing out 3-2.
ATK got the best of the Islanders when the sides met earlier this season at the Mumbai Football Arena as well. A probing cross from Zequinha was helped on by the slightest of touches from Robin Singh, straight through Amrinder Singh’s legs and into the goal.
Having sealed a spot in the play-offs, Bengaluru FC lead the pack with a 5-point lead. FC Pune City, who share the spoils at the Kanteerava Stadium, sit in 2nd place. Coming off the back of solid wins, Chennaiyin FC and Jamshedpur FC occupy the remaining two play-off spots at the moment with Kerala Blasters and FC Goa breathing down their necks.
The other fixtures of the week are:
Saturday, 17th February
NorthEast United FC vs Kerala Blasters FC (Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, 8pm)
Sunday, 18th February
Chennaiyin FC vs Jamshedpur FC (Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, 5.30pm)