Confident Mumbai City FC ready for table toppers Chennaiyin FC

Mumbai City FC

Mumbai: Mumbai City FC would look to return the favours in their own den when they take on Chennaiyin FC in the tenth round of the Hero Indian Super League here on Sunday evening.

The team, co-owned by Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor and Chartered Accountant Bimal Parekh, suffered a 1-5 reversal when they visited the Tamil Nadu capital at the start of the league. But much water has flown through the Arabian Sea since then.

Since the loss in Chennai, Mumbai City FC has maintained five straight clean sheets and have managed to carve out two fighting victories. However, with the semi-final spot on the line, coach Peter Reid and his boys know that only three points against the visitors would ease the pressure on them in their penultimate home game of the season.

With five rounds remaining in the league stage, Mumbai City FC has 12 points in their kitty and their primary aim would be to clinch six points from the remaining two home games, including the one on Sunday.

But to achieve that goal, the team needs to start finding the back of the opposition net at the earliest against a Chennaiyin FC team that boasts of one of the best goal difference in the competition.

In their last three encounters which all ended in 0-0 stalemates, Mumbai City FC produced a plethora of chances but either could not convert them into goals or were plain unlucky as strikes were blocked by the woodwork.

The return of Andre Moritz has already added some bite to Mumbai City FC’s attack as was evident in their last game against FC Goa and manager Reid would have little to complain about the efforts and linking up of Moritz with the other attacking players.

The Englishman would only be hoping that the likes of Moritz, who has the only hat-trick in the tournament to his name, and Anelka find that elusive goal sooner than later and the Indian support cast of Subhash Singh, Nadong Bhutia and Lalrindika Ralte come to the party against the Chennaiyins.

“We are training today. The decision (on fitness and squad) would be made tonight. It depends on training and the treatment tonight, because we give every player as much a chance as we can to get fit. We don’t just sit there and defend all the time. Especially after the last game against Chennai, it was such a big defeat, it affects everyone in the team mentally. So it’s important to work on that stable back four. We don’t say we will go out there and draw nil-nil, because you can’t do that. In reality, when you get the ball, you try and score a goal. We have missed some opportunities, even in the last game. The league is wide open, with possibly seven teams who can make it to top four. Our aim is to not lose, but we got to start picking a couple of wins on our way,” Mumbai City FC assistant coach Steve Darby said on the eve of the game.

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