After a hiatus of 45 days, Mumbai City are back home! The Islanders are in ISL action at the Mumbai Football Arena for the first time under Petr Kratky as they get ready to welcome East Bengal FC on Saturday, December 16 with action kicking off at 8:00 PM.
Mumbai City endured back-to-back games on the road against Bengaluru FC and FC Goa and come into tonight’s game with four points from the last two matches. After a 4-0 win against Bengaluru, Mumbai City made the trip to Goa to take on the league leaders – an acid test for the Islanders’ new boss Petr Kratky, who made his bow at the Fatorda. An end to end affair ensured after both sides exchanged blows but the night ended in a stalemate as Mumbai City secured a vital point away from home against a resilient FC Goa side.
East Bengal have started the new season under new management with former Bengaluru FC coach Carles Cuadrat at the helm. The Torchbearers endured a rocky start to their league campaign but have found form after being unbeaten in their last three ISL outings. East Bengal secured two draws against Chennaiyin FC and Punjab FC on either side of an emphatic 5-0 win over NorthEast United.
Petr Kratky took to his first pre-match press conference in Mumbai, addressing the media ahead of his maiden game at the Mumbai Football Arena. Speaking about his anticipation, the Islanders’ new head coach said, “I'm excited to see the stadium and the fans in the stadium. And hopefully, we will play good football and win the match. Really happy. I haven't seen too much of the surroundings because of being in a hotel and meeting with players and staff. But I'm excited to play tomorrow.”
Rostyn Griffiths, who worked under Kratky at fellow CFG club Melbourne City, accompanied him for the customary pre-match interaction and echoed his excitement ahead of Mumbai City’s return to the Arena after 45 days. “East Bengal have found form, they have scored a few goals themselves. They have some dangerous players. I am also excited to be back home in Mumbai because it feels like we haven't played there for ages,” said Griffiths.
Speaking about tonight’s opposition, Kratky said it is not in his nature to underestimate anyone and will be wary of East Bengal’s qualities. “I always respect the opposition. We have to never underestimate anyone. This is always my attitude. I don't care who I play against, we have to do our best every single game. We have to make sure the players are switched on, and staff is switched on. Because, again, never underestimate and always respect the opposition. If we do our best, follow our game styles and work with heart, I have faith in this group that they can deliver,” asserted Kratky ahead of tonight’s crucial outing at the Arena.
Jose Antonio Pardo will miss out for East Bengal FC after collecting his fourth yellow card of the season against Punjab FC.
Where To Watch
The game will kick off at 8:00 PM IST on Tuesday, 16th of December 2023 and will be broadcasted on Sports 18 and Jio Cinema. For our global fans, you can find your broadcaster at www.indiansuperleague.com/broadcasters or follow all the action LIVE on our official Twitter account - @MumbaiCityFC.