NorthEast United FC vs Mumbai City FC preview, prediction, team news, and more for the ISL 2023-24 clash
Northeast United FC are gearing up to host the ISL Shield holders, Mumbai City FC, at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Sunday, September 24.
The Highlanders are back on their home turf following a successful Durand Cup campaign. They reached the semi-finals of the competition but were unfortunate to lose to East Bengal FC, who made a remarkable comeback from a two-goal deficit and ultimately secured the victory via a penalty shootout.
Although the defeat was undoubtedly disappointing, Northeast United can draw several positives from their Durand Cup performances. Head coach Juan Pedri Benali has assembled a highly competitive squad that has quickly settled into their new environment.
Key signings such as Nestor Albiach, Ibson Melo, and defender Michel Zabaco have bolstered the squad, complemented by the dynamism brought by Phalguni Singh in midfield. After a challenging season marked by unfortunate records, the club will be eager to bounce back and bring joy to their dedicated fan base.
On the other side, Mumbai City FC are coming off a disappointing loss to FC Nassaji Mazandaran in the AFC Champions League. Head coach Des Buckingham will be hopeful that his team can translate their strong performances into positive results as they aim to defend their ISL title.
Discussing the upcoming match, Buckingham emphasized the importance of maintaining their high levels, regardless of the outcome, and believes it positions Mumbai City FC well for the ISL season.
Speaking to the media ahead of the game, he said:
"On the performance level, if we can go back to our game in the Champions League the other night, for me, the measures were higher than any other ACL or ISL game we played last year. Yes, the result didn't come our way, but if the players can sustain this level of performance, we'll put ourselves once again in a strong position to firstly challenge NorthEast United FC and then in the rest of the ISL season."
NorthEast United FC vs Mumbai City FC: Team News
NorthEast United are expected to have a fully fit squad, with no reported injuries or players on international duty for the Asian Games 2023.
In contrast, Mumbai City FC will be missing Gurukirat Singh, who is representing India in the Asian Games, and Alberto Noguera, who is receiving treatment in Spain.
NorthEast United FC vs Mumbai City FC: Predicted Lineup
NorthEast United FC: Michu Mirshad, Hira Mondal, Asheer Akhtar, Míchel Zabaco, Dinesh Singh, Mohammed Ali Bemammer, Phalguni Singh, Manvir Singh, Romain Philippoteaux, Nestor Albiach, and Parthib Gogoi.
NorthEast United FC vs Mumbai City FC: Prediction
On paper, Mumbai City FC will enter the match as a strong favorite due to their squad quality and depth.
However, it should be noted that this NorthEast United side are a completely different one from last season and look strong physically and technically. They have the potential to pose challenges for the Islanders, but Buckingham's men are expected to secure three points.
Prediction: NorthEast United FC 1-3 Mumbai City FC