A new year is upon us and with a new year, comes a new challenge - the 2024 Kalinga Super Cup.

Mumbai City, drawn in Group C, gear up for the first of three group stage games later today against I-League side Gokulam Kerala at the Pitch #1 in the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar in an early 2 PM kick off.

With the Indian Super League season breaking to accommodate the 2023 AFC Asian Cup and as many as six Islanders away on international duty, the Kalinga Super Cup serves as the perfect platform for Petr Kratky and the Islanders to test the squad and challenge for a continental spot on offer.

Gokulam Kerala, who currently sit sixth in the I-League points table, have had a mixed bag of a season so far. The Malabarians started the 2023-24 season on a positive note in the Durand Cup after finishing top in a group that consisted of Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters but bowed out of the competition after a 2-1 loss to East Bengal in the quarter finals. However, Domingo Oramas’ side have not found their stride in the I-League but come into the Super Cup off the back of a recent revival, including a 4-1 win away to Sreenidi Deccan.

With a chance at silverware, a spot in the 2024-25 ACL 2 and a chance to test the squad, Petr Kratky is looking forward to the cup competition ahead of today’s outing. The 42-year-old said, “There is always an opportunity to get better in tournaments like the Super Cup. It always gives you a little bit more of a head start for the next games so if it's the second half of the season. Again, we're looking forward to seeing new faces on the pitch as well and keep on pushing the younger players, the ones I have not been able to see yet because I'm just here for a short time. So, I'm looking forward to this and hopefully, this tournament will give us a little bit better start for the second half of the season.”

With six Mumbai City players currently in Qatar on international duty at the AFC Asian Cup, Kratky believes that the Super Cup will provide opportunities but it’s up to the players in the squad to take them. “There are no excuses. We've got a squad who are ready to prove the point and want to play. We wish all the best to the Indian team as well as our players and hopefully, they do well against Australia in the first game. But again, I'm looking forward (to the Super Cup). I have worked with these players for a short period and I look forward to seeing them play. It's an opportunity for them to prove themselves as well as an opportunity for me to see how they perform. They need to grab it and show me they deserve to play,” said the Islanders’ head coach.


Team News

Alberto Noguera makes his return as the Spanish midfielder will be available for selection in our Kalinga Super Cup campaign.

Rahul Bheke, Mehtab Singh, Akash Mishra, Apuia Ralte, Lallianzuala Chhangte and Vikram Partap Singh will remain unavailable due to international duty.


Where To Watch
The game will kick off at 2:00 PM IST on Thursday, 11th of January 2024 and will be broadcasted on Jio Cinema. For our global fans, you can follow all the action LIVE on our official Twitter account - @MumbaiCityFC.