Five reasons why troubled Mumbai FC could surprise in form East Bengal

Mumbai FC have endured a fortnight to forget with off field problems compounding the Mumbai side’s on field woes. With Shillong Lajong smashing Mumbai FC’s unbeaten home record, Dempo added further misery by breaching Cooperage for the second time in a week with heart breaking late defeat last Saturday.

Sandwiched between the two losses, Mumbai’s valiant display which earned them a draw away to Champions Bengaluru was overshadowed by controversy off the pitch.

Mumbai FC’s Amoes was fined for confronting the Bengaluru supporters, coach Khalid Jamil is banned for four games for unsporting behaviour and use of abusive language.

If that wasn’t enough, Mumbai FC were dealt with a blow when midfielder Dane Pereira was tested positive in a dope test conducted by NADA and has been suspended indefinitely from playing professional football.

Amidst all chaos, Mumbai FC get back to the football pitch and have it no easier with a stiff looking trip to Kolkata to face red hot East Bengal who have won their last three games.

The odds are heavily stacked against the Mumbai club to put both on-field and off-field disappointment behind them and come away from the Salt Lake Stadium with a positive result.

But despite the troubled times, We take a look at five reasons which suggest Mumbai FC could have a surprise or two in store for Kingfisher East Bengal today.

1. Home Discomforts

Despite the current upturn in form, East Bengal have struggled on their home patch and have won just two of their six games and are winless in their last four at home. This shows that the Salt Lake is nowhere near being a fortress and if the visitors are on their game, they could have something to take back from Kolkata.

2. Leaky Lal Holud

East Bengal who are nicknamed The Lal Holud have struggled to keep out oppositions and have managed just two clean sheets in the entire campaign with their only clean sheet at home coming in their first home game against Bengaluru back in January. Mumbai FC pose a decent threat with the likes of Josimar Martins and Jayesh Rane back in the fold and could just benefit from the porous looking East Bengal back line.

3. Mumbai FC like the underdog’s tag

Mumbai FC have often been written off before certain games, but have been able to fight all odds to earn themselves positive results. Mumbai FC have an excellent record against the teams in the top half of the table after wins over Royal Wahingdoh and Salgaocar were backed off by draws against Pune FC and champions Bengaluru FC. Mumbai FC held the champions twice, with the latest one coming three days after Mumbai were handed a 6-0 thrashing. Ten men Mumbai almost held out Pune FC but for a late equaliser. So it’s clear that Mumbai FC are most dangerous when the odds are against them.

4. Home away from home?

Kolkata has similar climatic conditions to Mumbai. At the same time, the artificial pitch at the Salt Lake stadium which becomes a problem for the visiting sides is actually a boon for Mumbai FC who have an artificial pitch in Mumbai and will have home like conditions with the climate and the pitch.

5. Good Recent Record against East Bengal

Mumbai FC are unbeaten in their last three games against East Bengal, drawing two and winning one. Mumbai FC will take heart from last season’s 2-2 draw at the Salt Lake stadium and hope to repeat that feat later today. Mumbai also drew 0-0 with East Bengal earlier this season, in the Federation Cup.

Mumbai FC may not be the favourites, but there are plenty of reasons to keep them interested. A draw or a win would be ideal for the player’s confidence who must be feeling the heat of the run of poor results.

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