Back on the road!
Eleven games into the campaign, it has been a rather paradoxical run for Jorge Costa and the Islanders in the 2019-20 Hero ISL. The Mumbaikars have won only one of four games at the Mumbai Football Arena, but quite remarkably, are unbeaten away from home. In just over 24 hours, they will face a rigorous test in a bid to keep that record intact.
Mumbai City FC are away for the first time in 2020, making the xx mile trip to Bhubaneshwar to face an in-form Odisha FC. The Islanders will take to the pitch tomorrow at the Kalinga Stadium with action kicking off at 7.30pm.
After finishing 2019 with a first home win of the season, the Islanders could not conjure up an encore performance against ATK at the Arena, going down 0-2 to Antonio Habas’ side. Former Islander Pronay Halder was among the goals along with Michael Soosairaj on a night when the ball just wouldn’t hit the net for Jorge Costa’s side – they probably would not have had a goal if play carried on for another 90 minutes too.
With the middle of the points table tight as ever, the loss in the first game of the year has got a string of sides breathing down the Islanders’ neck and threatening Mumbai City FC’s hold on a playoff spot – one of them being tomorrow’s opponents who are just a point behind in 5th place. Josep Gombau’s side were 4-2 winners at the Arena earlier this season in a lacklustre showing from the Islanders and while Jorge Costa will not have pleasant memories of that evening, there certainly are some important lessons to take from it.
Odisha FC have found wins coming by comfortably at the Kalinga Stadium and The Islanders’ robust away form will be tested to its limits tomorrow against a spirited host. But then diamonds, after all, are impossible to make without some pressure.
Form Guide (Last Five Games)
Odisha FC: L-W-L-W-W
Mumbai City FC: D-W-W-W-L
After picking up his second caution of the season, Jorge Costa will be resigned to the stands for tomorrow’s clash. Deputizing for him will be assistant coaches Marco Leite and Anthony Fernandes. The Islanders have had their fair share of bad luck with suspensions – Sarthak Golui returns from his one-game ban while Diego Carlos will serve his time after picking his fourth yellow card against ATK.
Who Said What:
Marco Leite: I think both teams know each other quite well. We’ve played against Odisha once in pre-season and once in the league. I predict a good game tomorrow.
Souvik Chakrabarti: We’ve trained well for this game. It’s not going to be an easy game by any stretch of the imagination, but we’re prepared.
Sarthak Golui: This is the most crucial time of the season. The table is close as ever and we need to be at our best, starting with our game in Bhubaneshwar.
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.
6 Jan: Odisha FC 2-0 Chennaiyin FC (Jerry 37’, Vinit 41’)
8 Jan: FC Goa 2-0 NorthEast United FC (Komorski OG 69’, Coro P 82’)
9 Jan: Bengaluru FC 2-0 Jamshedpur FC (Paartalu 8’, Chhetri 63’)
Fixtures coming up:
10 Jan: Hyderabad FC vs Chennaiyin FC (G.M.C. Balayogi Athletic Stadium, Hyderabad 7.30pm)
11 Jan: Odisha FC vs Mumbai City FC (Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneshwar 7.30pm)
12 Jan: ATK vs Kerala Blasters FC (VYBK, Kolkata 7.30pm)