Mumbai City FC can achieve qualification to the semi-finals of Hero Indian Super League if they can put it across Chennaiyin FC in a Hero Indian Super League clash at Mumbai Football Arena, Mumbai, on Wednesday.
Fresh from a 5-0 demolition of Kerala Blasters in the previous game, Mumbai City FC are sitting pretty at the top with 19 points from 12 matches and three points should be good enough for a top-four finish. Mumbai City have already bettered their points tally from the previous editions of ISL – 16 each in 2014 and 2015 – and managed a win more (5) than what they did in the previous two seasons (four each) but it is qualification that would eventually matter.
“We are on the way. We know that to achieve the first goal is to get to the playoffs. It’s good to have these points with two games to be played but we have to get more. 19 points are not enough. We must have (more) good performances,” said Mumbai City coach Alexandre Guimaraes.
Diego Forlan became the first marquee to score a hat-trick in the ISL and also continued Mumbai’s record of having a hat-trick scorer in each of the editions. In the first year, it was Andre Moritz and last year it was Sunil Chhetri but Guimaraes is under no illusion about the battle ahead.
“We will have to play better (against Chennaiyin FC) than the last game to try and win to be in a very good position. We saw the game Chennaiyin played against ATK and they are still on course. They are very tough. They are champions and champions always like to fight till the end,” said the Mumbai City coach.
Chennaiyin FC have looked far from champion material this season and are placed sixth with 14 points from 11 matches. The defending champions, however, have shown glimpses of the form that gave them the title last season and coach Marco Materazzi will be hoping his team finds the magic touch towards the closing stages.
“Maybe we need a little bit of luck. We are still confident of making the play-offs. Except against Delhi (Dynamos), in every other game we have shown good attitude and spirit,” said Materazzi.
Chennaiyin FC have won just a match away from home this season but can count on history to provide the final surge required to push them through to the playoffs. Much will depend on the goal-scoring prowess of Italian striker Davide Succi, especially with Dudu Omagbemi out of form and Jeje Lalpekhlua injured.
“Football is not science or maths. All we can do is collect as many points as possible. What matters is getting to the playoffs and once you are there, the whole thing starts all over again,” said Materazzi.
Mumbai City FC vs Chennaiyin FC Prediction
Mumbai City are high on confidence and with Diego Forlan firing on all cylinders, they should have too much for the visitors.
Predicted score – Mumbai City FC 2-1 Chennaiyin FC
Mumbai City FC vs Chennaiyin FC Live stream info
The game will be available for streaming on the Hotstar App (only in India)