Mumbai FC focused for Bengaluru battle

Bangalore, April 1: Mumbai FC are set to renew their battle with Bengaluru FC as they two teams are set to clash in an absorbing 14th round I-League match, to be played at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bangalore on Saturday evening.

Despite earning the bragging rights after having defeated Bengaluru FC 2-0 in the home match late January, Mumbai FC head coach Khalid Jamil was not prepared to think about that game. Incidentally, that was the only game that finished with a win in five games between the two teams in this competition. The previous four games had finished in draws.

“That match is history. We now have to focus on tomorrow’s game which is very important for us. We have to be positive and play to our plan and try to get the best result,” said Khalid, who seemed relaxed and spoke with confidence ahead of this tense and high-voltage encounter.

“They (Bengaluru) will definitely look to avenge that defeat. But we have to be prepared and do our best to keep our record intact.”

However, the Mumbai side, which finished runners-up behind champions ONGC in the MDFA Elite Division league, will certainly hold the psychological and that would help motivate the players for the big challenge. A win would also secure for the Mumbai their first away win after they failed to find success in six previous matches.

Coach Jamil was also happy that he would have the option to pick his best side as the whole team is fit for the game. “All the players fit and I will ensure that I make the correct decision in picking the right players for the match,” he further said.

Mumbai FC manager Henry Picardo also mentioned that with all the players available for the selection. “We faced plenty of injury worries to key players, captain Taisuke Matsugae, defender Min-Chol Son, Allan Dias, midfielders Izumi Arata. But thanks to the long break it has given them the chance to fully recuperate from their injuries and they are all fighting fit,” he said.

Both goalkeeper Pawan Kumar and defender Min-Chol Son, who were outstanding in the last game against Bengaluru and helped their team to victory, will have to give an encore performance and help their team to maintain their unbeaten run against the former champions.

Mumbai FC are in the lower half of the standings with 12 points from as many games while Bengaluru are placed on top half with 22 points from 11 matches.

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