Mumbai City FC entertain NorthEast United in yet another home game for Nicolas Anelka’s men at the Dr. DY Patil Stadium later today. Mumbai City FC come into the game on the back of two solid wins over Delhi Dynamos and FC Goa and they will be looking to continue that momentum against NorthEast United.
But it will be easier said than done against a NorthEast United side, which has had a similar turn in fortunes as their hosts. And Cesar Farias’ men too will be looking to replicate their home form on the road.
The Highlanders though draw inspiration from their last visit when they recorded a 2-0 win. That remains NorthEast United’s only away win in the Indian Super League till date, but they will now believe that they can add yet another win in Mumbai to that success last year. However, Mumbai City FC are a far more stronger outfit than last season, which means NorthEast United’s task of repeating last year’s result will be doubly difficult.
Kickoff & Live Telecast
Venue – Dr. D.Y. Patil Stadium
Kick-off Timing – 7 PM IST
Live Telecast – Star Sports 2 & HD2 (English), Star Sports 3 & HD3 (Hindi)
Mumbai City FC assistant Coach Oscar Bruzon confirmed that marquee player and manager Nicolas Anelka won’t start for Mumbai City FC against NorthEast United, but suggested that he expects the Frenchman to be involved at some point of the game. The Spaniard also revealed that Mumbai would like to stick to the 4-3-3 formation that has worked well for the team, but insists fitness of certain players could force the Blue Devils to alter their approach.
Mumbai are likely to go unchanged in defensive capacity after their solid showing against FC Goa, but few changes up front can be expected with Mumbai City FC only getting 72 hours to recover from their previous game. Subhas Singh could come into the side up front at the expense of Frederic Piquionne if the latter fails to recover in time.
Mumbai City FC predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Subrata Pal, Ashutosh Mehta, Pavel Cmovs, Darren O’Dea, Lalchhuanmawia Fanai, Juan Aguilera, Christian Bustos, Sunil Chhetri, Gabriel Fernandes, Sony Norde, Frederic Piquionne
NorthEast United coach Cesar Farias wouldn’t like to change too much going into the game against Mumbai City FC. Star forward Nicolas Velez could start from the beginning to add more bite to the NorthEast United attack. They are expected to go with a 5-3-2 system that served them well in their last game against Atletico de Kolkata. New signing Bikey, who impressed in the midfield role, is expected to continue in that position.
NorthEast United predicted XI (5-3-2): Rehenesh TP, Reegan, Aibor, Lopez, Hengbart, Robin Gurung, Hangal, Herrero, Bikey, Velez, Diomansy Kamara
Sunil Chhetri vs Andre Bikey
Sunil Chhetri has hit the ground running with Mumbai City FC and has scored three goals in his first three games for the club. Chhetri has been at the heart of everything that Mumbai City have created in the last two games and he is the obvious dangerman for NorthEast United.
Andre Bikey was put in a more advanced role in the midfield and that gave NorthEast United the solidity in the middle of the park as they blanked Atletico de Kolkata. He will be tasked with keeping the in-form Indian international quiet. It promises to be a mouth-watering battle between the duo and will be key in the outcome of the result.
Nicolas Velez vs Pavel Cmovs
Velez has been a sensation for the Highlanders and, like Chhetri, has scored three times for NorthEast United this season. The Argentine forward has pace to burn and more than a trick or two up his sleeve and hence will be the biggest threat to the hosts today.
On the other hand, Pavel Cmovs has been a rock in the Mumbai City defence and will have to contend with Velez’s threat up front. The Czech international has impressed everyone with his overall play and even found a spot in Sportskeeda’s team of the week. But Cmovs is primed for his toughest test so far, with a deadly Nicolas Velez running at him. If Cmovs can have yet another good game in defence and keep Velez quiet, Mumbai City fans will be smiling come the end of the evening.
Mumbai City FC are looking like a team that could mount a real challenge for the crown. With the combination between, Chhetri, Norde and Piquionne clicking, they are likely to score more goals. NorthEast United might be in a good shape themselves, but they will find Mumbai City’s attacking trio too hot to handle.
Predicted score: Mumbai City 3-1 NorthEast UnitedPublished 28 Oct 2015, 13:28 IST