After starting the Indian Super League campaign on a winning note, matchweek 2 is upon us. Mumbai City FC gear up for a second successive game on the road as Des Buckingham and his side take on Odisha FC on Thursday, September 28 at the Kalinga Stadium here in Bhubaneswar.
The Islanders head into tomorrow’s clash off the back of a comfortable 2-1 win over NorthEast United in Guwahati courtesy of a double-salvo from Argentine striker Jorge Pereyra Díaz. Similarly, Odisha FC recorded a 2-0 win over Chennaiyin FC in their ISL season opener.
Ahead of the big ticket game at the Kalinga, Des Buckingham was joined by Rahul Bheke as the duo addressed the media in Bhubaneswar. Speaking about what will be the Islanders’ third consecutive game on the road, Buckingham said, “Our AFC Champions League game, was at home in Pune, so it was a three-hour travel for us. We went away to NorthEast United and that's substantial travel but we’ve managed to be here (in Bhubaneswar) now for two days. We've trained yesterday, we'll train again today. Now, it’s about making sure that we field the fittest and freshest team that can play the football that we want.”
The Odisha camp features a few familiar faces from the Islanders’ recent past, making it an exciting prospect for the neutral, but Des Buckingham insists it’s business as usual for him. The Islanders’ head coach said, “It's not just Sergio (Lobera), you've got Amrinder who used to play here. Amey at right back, Jahouh, Fall, Cy Goddard, Diego - they're all players that I'm very familiar with and have worked with. So, yes, it brings that level of familiarity. For me, it doesn't matter.”
“We come up against good coaches and good players every week in the ISL. So, it doesn't change what we do regardless of who the coach or the players are. The most important thing is we prepare ourselves as well as we can to play the football we want, whilst also getting ourselves as prepared for what we think we may expect from Odisha,” added Buckingham.
Rahul Bheke, who echoed Buckingham’s sentiments, highlighted the familiarity between players from both teams and how it may play a role in tomorrow’s outcome. Bheke said, “It’s definitely an advantage for both the teams and both sets of players because we know each other as we have been playing for the last two years together in Mumbai. We are here to try and win. We'll focus more on how we want to play and how we have to perform as a unit against a strong Odisha side and go back home with three points.”
Where To Watch
The game will kick off at 8:00 PM IST on the 28th of September 2023 and will be broadcasted on Sports 18 and Jio TV. For our global fans, you follow all the action LIVE on our official Twitter account - @MumbaiCityFC.