Holders of the Indian Super League Shield, Mumbai City FC are very much in the running in terms of defending their title. However, among those who intend to get in the way, and play party poopers, are former champions Bengaluru FC, who though are 10 points behind the Islanders, ahead of their monumental clash on Sunday, 18th February.

Having returned to winning ways against East Bengal in Kolkata, the Petr Kraty coached side will be keen on building momentum, and what better venue than the Mumbai Football Arena, in front of the home fans.

“In the last game, there was a desire to bounce back and there was heart in the performance. We showed that we can play good football and we just have to continue with that, and show that it was not just a one-off situation. We need to carry on with that kind of performances in the next game against Bengaluru FC,” the coach said.

Going into what is a crucial contest for the Mumbai City FC side, the coach impressed upon the importance having the full squad available at his disposal. He said, “I think this is good to have the full squad available because everyone is important in the team, and then it is up to us, as to how we make things work. After this it is up to us to select the best team for the game, such that we can go out there and get the desired result.”

Understandably, everyone on the squad wants game time, and from the players’ point of view, it is about giving the coach a selection headache. On the eve of the game against Bengaluru FC, Alberto Noguera said, “We have to make the situation difficult for the coach, and we have to continue to push ourselves in training and keep working hard, and I think we have been training well, and that is key for the team to do well. We have a strong squad, and anyone can step in whenever required.”

Earlier in the season, the Mumbai City FC juggernaut put on a masterclass for their fans when they were away to Bengaluru FC, defeating the hosts by a whopping 4-0 margin.

“I think we are ready for Bengaluru FC and whatever they throw at us. It is all about being switched on during the 90 minutes and applying yourself on the field. We know they are a quality team, and they can hurt us, so it is all about hard work, and I am very confident about the group. I think we are ready,” Kratky said.

For the coach, the opposition and the profile of the players in the squad in the opposite corner isn’t of much importance. His message to the team was, “It doesn’t matter who we are facing, because we just need to concentrate and do our best on a daily basis. We are aware of the quality, but we have to put our best foot forward at all times. We always want to win for sure.”