Can Mumbai City FC stop Chennaiyin FC winning streak

Chennaiyin FC will attempt to register a record fourth successive win in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) but hosts Mumbai City FC won’t make it any easy at the Mumbai Football Arena on Sunday.

Balwant Singh of Mumbai City FC during match 16 of the Hero Indian Super League between Kerala Blasters FC and Mumbai City FC held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium,Kochi, India on the 3rd December 2017 Photo by: Arjun Singh / ISL / SPORTZPICS

Balwant Singh of Mumbai City FC during match 16 of the Hero Indian Super League between Kerala Blasters FC and Mumbai City FC held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium,Kochi, India on the 3rd December 2017
Photo by: Arjun Singh / ISL / SPORTZPICS

After their opening round loss to FC Goa at home, Chennaiyin FC have won three successive matches to surge to No. 2 in the table with nine points, just shy of Bengaluru FC who have a superior goal difference. But Mumbai City captain Lucian Goian said they are ready for anything the visitors will throw at them, particularly with the fans backing them to the hilt.

“We are prepared for everything. Most important is for us to control the game. We have showed that we are improving with each game. That gives us a lot of confidence,” Goian said during the pre-match media interaction on Saturday.

Mumbai City are returning home, where they won their previous game against FC Goa, after securing a point against Kerala Blasters FC. It was a difficult game and the captain admitted it was a good point to grab playing away. “That was a positive result, considering we were playing away. It’s not easy in Kochi because of the fantastic atmosphere. I like that atmosphere. We have returned with a point which is important. That will give us confidence for the home games,” said the Mumbai captain.

It will be Chennaiyin FC, though, who should consider themselves favourites given their fantastic run of three victories in a row, including a dramatic 3-2 victory over defending champions ATK in the previous game at home. “We just want to keep it going. We had a poor first 45 minutes in our first game (against FC Goa), but since then we have managed to put together a couple of good results and we desperately want to keep it going,” said Coach John Gregory.

Chennaiyin FC have been boosted by the return of influential midfielder Raphael Augusto who has now recovered to take the field again. Coach Gregory said he was kept out as a “precautionary measure” against ATK, but more importantly the visitors are buoyed by the return to form of Jeje Lalpekhlua.

The Chennaiyin FC striker is the leading Indian goal scorer in the ISL and announced his arrival this season with a brace against ATK. “It’s unusual for Jeje not to score going into his fourth game. Fortunately, others were scoring which took pressure off him,” said Gregory.

The Mumbai City FC skipper added: “If they have Jeje, we have Balwant. It will be a good contest.”

Also Read: Can undefeated Jamshedpur defence hold Pune’s goal-hungry strikers?

Also Read: 5 talking points as FC Goa outclassed Kerala Blasters

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