Northeast United and Mumbai City FC - two teams with contrasting fortunes - will face off in an Indian Super League fixture at the Mumbai Football Arena on Thursday.
While Mumbai City is on top of the table with 36 points from 14 outings - with eleven victories and three draws - Northeast United comes into the game with just four points, reeling at the bottom of the chart.
Under the tutelage of coach Des Buckingham, Mumbai City FC played out a draw for the last time in November and has gone on to win nine matches on the trot ever since, and after thumping Kerala Blasters and ATK Mohun Bagan in the previous two outings, the home team will hope to start confidently against a misfiring Northeast outfit.
The last time the two teams locked horns in November last year, Mumbai City had defeated Northeast 3-1 and the head-to-head record backs the Islanders, who have won eight of the 17 games, while four ended in a draw.
Mumbai’s Argentine goal machine Jorge Pereyra Diaz will be back in action following an one-match suspension, and at home, the Islanders could move back to the must tried-and-tested 4-2-3-1 strategy, allowing Diaz to play up front.
The Northeast outfit, on the other hand, will miss Jon Gaztanaga. “We have lost one of the key players. We know how important he was. But we have other players and some players can substitute for him. For sure it will impact us, but we need to focus on performing without him,” head coach Vincenzo Alberto Annese said, adding that he won’t make too many tactical changes ahead of a big game.