Mumbai FC face high-flying defending champions Mohun Bagan away from home

Mumbai FC coach Khalid Jamil has his task cut out as the team prepares to take on high-flying and defending champions Mohun Bagan in a 13th round I-League match, to be played at the Barasat District Sports Stadium, Kolkata on Sunday evening.

The Mumbai outfit had produced a creditable performance to share honours with the formidable Maroon and Green brigade at home last month and coach Jamil is confident of an encore from his players and would be satisfied to come out even with a point.

“Mohun Bagan have been playing well since last season and considering their recent form they are the team to beat. They have a very strong attack, which includes Sony Norde, Cornell Glen, Jeje Lalpekhulua and skipper Yusa Katsumi and they are playing well,” said Jamil.

“It’s going to be a tough match, but we try to put up a good fight and get a positive result,” he added.

The Mumbai coach visibly seemed more relaxed as all the foreign players, including defender Min-Chol Son, midfielder Izumi Arata and skipper Taisuke Matsugae have fully recovered and are fighting fit for the match.

The sturdy and dependable Son along with Pratik Chowdhary and Anwar Ali had formed a solid defence to keep the Bagan attackers in check in the last meeting and they once again will have to rise to the challenge and ensure no damage is done to their goal. Jamil will have to decide on who will play in goal as the vastly experienced Sandip Nandy, who has been taken on loan from Kerala Blasters, has also recovered from a thigh injury. In previous encounter the young Pawan Kumar did a brilliant job and complimented his defenders.

The Mumbai midfield will be at full strength, with Taisuke and Arata set to join force with Eric Brown and Jayesh Rane. They would have to put their best foot forward and try to create scoring opportunities for the strikers Ryuki Kozawa and Sushil Kumar Singh to get the crucial goals.

The Mumbai side go into the match on three successive 2-2 draws against Sporting Clube de Goa and Aizawl FC, both at home and Salgaocar SC, but are winless in their last seven games. They also have a poor away record having lost three and drawn two in the previous five away outings.

A win will give the Mumbai side the confidence and the boost from the remaining round of matches.

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