The final game of January is upon us. After successive ‘away’ fixtures, Sergio Lobera and the Islanders are up against NorthEast United on Saturday, January 30 at the club’s designated home - the GMC Stadium in Bambolim.
It’s been a topsy turvy start to the second round of fixture for Mumbai City. A goalless draw against Hyderabad FC was followed by a hard-fought win against SC East Bengal before squaring up against a resolute Chennaiyin FC. The Islanders took the lead with a thumping header from Bartholomew Ogbeche, but a rare blunder from Ahmed Jahouh gave away a penalty which was converted by Esmael Goncalves, earning a point for Chennaiyin FC.
A strong start, a dip that followed and now, The Highlanders are a side in form. Following the dismissal of head coach Gerard Nus, the reigns were handed to interim boss Khalid Jamil who has turned around the fortunes for the Guwahati-based outfit. Since taking over, Jamil has recorded twin 2-1 wins over Jamshedpur FC and ATK Mohun Bagan with his side displaying a fresh approach to the game.
Although NorthEast United remain to be the only side to have beaten Mumbai City in the 2020/21 campaign, Sergio Lobera has asserted that the past will not affect the future and is wary of a high-flying Highlanders’ unit who come into this fixture in a rich vein of form.
Mandar Rao Dessai returns from suspension but Rowllin Borges will sit out after collecting his fourth yellow card against Chennaiyin FC.
Gurjinder Kumar picked up his fourth caution of the season against ATKMB and will be out of tomorrow’s action. Dylan Fox pulled up with an injury against the Mariners and is likely to miss out although Ashutosh Mehta, who sat out his side’s last fixture, could return to the line-up.
Who Said What:
Sergio Lobera: Both teams have improved since the first game. In the last two games, under a new coach, NEUFC have changed their philosophy and style. They are keeping the ball well, attacking well. We need to be ready for a difficult game.
Amey Ranawade: The confidence shown in me by the coach and my teammates is helping me a lot. It’s a great pleasure to be a part of such a big team and get game time. Being in a bubble, being together and knowing each other well has helped our performances too.
Where to watch it
The game will kick off at 7.30pm IST and will be broadcast on the Star Sports Network, Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV for all viewers in India. For our global fans, you can find your local broadcaster here or follow all the action LIVE on our official Twitter account - @MumbaiCityFC.
27 Jan: Kerala Blasters 0-0 Jamshedpur FC
28 Jan: Hyderabad FC 2-2 Bengaluru FC (Aridane 86’, Sandaza 90’; Chhetri 9’, Leon 61’)
29 Jan: FC Goa 1-1 SC East Bengal (Angulo 39’; Fox 65’)
Fixtures coming up:
30 Jan: Mumbai City vs NorthEast United (GMC Bambolim; 7.30pm)
31 Jan: Hyderabad FC vs Chennaiyin FC (Tilak Maidan, 5pm)
31 Jan: ATK Mohun Bagan vs Kerala Blasters (Fatorda, 7.30pm)