Mumbai, January 30: The onus will be on Mumbai City FC to climb among the top four when they come up against NorthEast United FC at the Mumbai Football Arena here on Friday (January 31) evening.
Mumbai, placed fifth on the Hero Indian Super League table, can leapfrog Odisha FC in the fourth position and go two points clear with a victory over the visitors.
Team News: MCFC
After a disappointing 1-1 draw against Hyderabad FC in their previous outing, Jorge Costa's men need to bounce back.
Modou Sougou is expected to be fit to start the game which will boost Mumbai's attack. However, they will miss the suspended Pratik Chowdhary who has amassed four yellow cards. 19-year-old Hmingthan Mawia is expected to partner Mato Grgic at the back as Mumbai will look for their third win on home soil this season.
Rowllin Borges has been in the impressive form alongside Sourav Das as their understanding has only grown in the last couple of games.
Mumbai struggled to create chances against Hyderabad FC and Costa is expected to change his tactics in order to ensure his forwards have more to work with.
"I am sure my players will give their best. I can change one or two players in the team but not my system. I don't know what will happen or the end of the season but I know we are trying and working hard. All points lost at this stage are difficult to recover, but we will give our best to win the game," said Costa.
Team News: NEUFC
The visitors have several issues to address. They have scored the least number of goals this season - nine. Add to that, the Highlanders have only scored three times away from home. In their last three away games, they haven't scored a single goal either. They have lacked creativity in midfield, often struggling to carve open the opposition in most games.
Injuries haven't helped their cause as star signing Asamoah Gyan spent considerable time on the sidelines before being ruled out for the season. Federico Gallego hasn't yet hit his peak form since his return from the injury he suffered in the playoffs last season.
New signing Andy Keogh and Simon Lundevall are yet to acclimatise and gel with the rest of the team-mates. Placed ninth on the table, Robert Jarni's side cannot afford to drop any points if they are to harbour the slimmest hopes of making it into the play-offs.
In defence, however, Mislav Komorski and goalkeeper Subhasish Roy Chowdhury have impressed and have largely been responsible for restricting the number of goals they have conceded.
NorthEast are on a run of eight matches without a win and badly need a spark.
NEUFC: Subhasish Roy Chowdhury, Rakesh Pradhan, Kai Heerings, Mislav Komorski, Reagan Singh, Lalengmawia, Nikhil Kadam, Martin Chaves, Ninthoinganba Meetei, Simon Lundevall, Andy Keogh.
MCFC: Amrinder Singh, Subashish Bose, Pratik Chowdhary, Mato Grgic, Sarthak Golui, Diego Carlos, Rowllin Borges, Sourav Das, Serge Kevyn Aboue Angoue, Mohamed Larbi, Amine Chermiti.
Match starts at 7:30 pm IST on Friday (January 31)
Live on Star Sports Network Live Streaming on Hotstar & Jio TV
Source: ISL Media