Mid-table settlers Mumbai City FC and Odisha FC will be eyeing a win and a top four berth when they meet in a crucial Hero ISL match at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Fatorda on Sunday.
A win would pitchfork defending champion Mumbai into the third place whereas an Odisha victory would also take it into the top four. Both teams have tasted success in their last matches with Mumbai ending a rather long winless run of seven matches.
Mumbai will look to continue the momentum against Odisha. However, Mumbai is aware of Odisha’s resilience after having lost their previous encounter (2-4) after holding the lead at one stage.
"Every game is different. When you look at the table, there is one point which separates us and Odisha but there is one point between us and the teams in second place and one at the top. So it is a very tight league and every game we play from now on is going to be important for us,’’ said Mumbai coach Des Buckingham.
Spaniard Igor Angulo has been among goals for Mumbai this season and he will find enough support from the resurgent Lallianzula Chhangte who was the hero when the Islanders snapped their winless streak against Chennaiyin FC.
Odisha is also brimming with confidence after having registered an important win against SC East Bengal in its last match. Brazilian Jonathas de Jesus has been both a scorer as well as a creator for Odisha while Aridai Suarez has also been an influential player for the Kalinga warriors.
"Both of them have scored bulk of Odisha’s goals this season and will again be the key men. Both teams need three points if you want to be in the semifinals. So it’s an important match. We need to be focused and perform well match after match,’’ said Odisha head coach Kino Garcia.