The international break is out and club football is back!
In just about 24 hours, the Islanders will resume action in the Hero Indian Super League, in the first of two crucial consecutive away fixtures coming up for Jorge Costa’s side.
First up, Mumbai City FC are on the road and will take on the high-flying NorthEast United FC tomorrow at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, here in Guwahati at 7.30pm.
After a strong start to the season picking up 4 points from the opening 6, the Islanders’ form record doesn’t make for good reading with two back-to-back losses at the Arena on the trot to show for.
Marred by injuries to plenty of first-teamers, Jorge Costa’s side went down fighting 2-4 to FC Goa three weeks ago at home. Having clawed back from 2-0 down to 2-2, the Islanders could not maintain their momentum and fell to a second loss of the season.
Like the boss says, the international break has come at the right time for Mumbai City FC, with plenty of time for the Islanders to regroup, reassess and recover. Tomorrow’s clash promises to be a test against a resilient, determined outfit set up by Croatian Robert Jarni.
Focus: NorthEast United FC
NorthEast United FC capped off their most successful season yet in 2018/19 under the tutelage of Eelco Schattorie, making their first ever semifinal appearance in five seasons. While the management may have changed, the Highlanders’ boardroom have done well to retain a large core of their side from last season.
The Highlanders have also roped in 1998 FIFA World Cup Bronze Medallist, Robert Jarni as their head coach, who has had a successful start to his stint at NorthEast United FC, winning two and drawing two of the four games so far. Coupled with that, tomorrow’s hosts have had an influx of some high quality foreign imports, the pick of the lot being legendary Ghanaian striker Asamoah Gyan who has been in red-hot form for his new side.
Unbeaten in the season so far, the Highlanders will have vengeance on their mind against Mumbai City FC who arrive in Guwahati eyeing a potential fourth consecutive win in this fixture.
NorthEast United FC: D-W-D-W
Mumbai City FC: W-D-L-L
The Islanders have benefitted from the long international break with Rowllin Borges inching towards full fitness and is in the traveling party.
The hosts NorthEast United will be without the services of Dutch defender Kai Heerings who was handed a retrospective two-game ban for his involvement in a scuffle against FC Goa.
Who Said What:
Jorge Costa: We are not expecting an easy game, not by any means. We know how NorthEast United play and we know it will be tough. But we know what we have to do as well. I believe in my players.
Amrinder Singh: We've had some injury problems. After the last 2 games, it was a good time to have this international break. It was a good break for us to regroup, assess what we’ve been doing wrong and most importantly, for the players to recover. Now, we're ready to go.
Souvik Chakrabarti: NorthEast United are a tough side to break down. We cannot go into the game thinking it will be easy. That can be the biggest mistake any of us can make.Where to watch it:
The game will kick off at 7.30pm IST and will be broadcast on the Star Sports Network, Hotstar and Jio TV for all viewers in India. For our global fans, you can follow all the action LIVE on our official Twitter account - @MumbaiCityFC.
23 Nov: Bengaluru FC 1-0 Kerala Blasters FC (Chhetri 55’)
24 Nov: Odisha FC 0-0 ATK
25 Nov: Chennaiyin FC 2-1 Hyderabad FC (Schembri 90’, Valskis 90’ Kilgallon 90’)
Fixtures coming up:
26 Nov: FC Goa vs Jamshedpur FC (Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Goa 7.30pm)
27 Nov: NorthEast United FC vs Mumbai City FC (Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati 7.30pm)
28 Nov: Chennaiyin FC vs Odisha FC (Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai 7.30pm)