NorthEast face Mumbai in ISL
Guwahati, Nov 8 (PTI) NorthEast United FC will look to continue their unbeaten run when they host Mumbai City FC in an Indian Super League fixture at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium here on Friday.
Only one point separates third-placed NorthEast United and fifth-placed Mumbai City, though the hosts have a game in hand.
The Highlanders are heading into the fixture with 11 points from five matches while the visitors have notched up 10 points from six games.
NorthEast United had a good start to the season under Eelco Schattorie with three wins and two draws. Mumbai, on the other hand, have been inconsistent with three wins, a draw and two losses in the last six matches.
The combination of Bartholomew Ogbeche and Fernando Gallego in NorthEast's attack has looked good and it will pose a serious challenge for opposition's defenders.
Ogbeche leads the goal-scoring chart alongside FC Goa's Ferran Corominas, having scored six goals from five matches. Gallego is top of the assist chart with four assists from five games.
Schattorie's men have a perfect away record with three wins out of three but they are yet to pick up a win at home and Jorge Costa's men will look to make full use of this on Friday.
"They (NorthEast United) had a good start to the season. For the last two-to-three days I was watching NorthEast United and they are very good. In terms of organisation during the 90 minutes, they are really good," Costa said.
"This means that we have a very difficult job, but tomorrow it's 11 against 11 on the field. We can also do very good things. Our wish is to go back home with the three points."
After a 5-0 hammering at the hands of FC Goa, Mumbai have fought back into contention with back-to-back wins against Delhi Dynamos and Chennaiyin FC.
Moudou Sougou's form in front of goal is encouraging for Costa against NorthEast's defence that has looked solid at the back.
Mato Grgic and co. have conceded only six goals, which is also the number of goals scored by Mumbai City so far this season.
But Schattorie will miss the services of Gurwinder Singh in defence after he picked up an injury. However, the Dutchman is not too worried.
"We have good players up front and we'll try to score one more goal than the opponent. Hopefully, that covers our defence," said Schattorie.
"Having said that, I think there were comments that we had a shaky defence but at this moment, we have conceded the least amount of goals after Bengaluru FC. We are pretty well organized and hopefully we can continue that against Mumbai."
The disorderly defence of the defending champions Chennaiyin FC was dismantled by a Mumbai attack that showed plenty of desire in their previous game