ISL 2019-20: Mumbai City eyes first home win against Kerala Blasters

The Jorge Costa-managed team has played two games this season at home in the Mumbai Football Arena, but suffered defeat on both the occasions.

Mumbai City FC is yet to bag its first win at home in ISL 2019-20.

Mumbai City FC is yet to bag its first win at home in ISL 2019-20.   -  SPORTZPICS

Mumbai City FC will be eyeing its first home win of the season when it takes on Kerala Blasters in an Indian Super League (ISL) game on Thursday.

The Jorge Costa-managed team has played two games this season at home in the Mumbai Football Arena, but suffered defeat on both the occasions.

First, it was Odisha FC which stunned Mumbai with a 4-2 win and later, FC Goa defeated the host by a similar margin on November 7.

Moreover, this would be Mumbai’s first home game after it was announced that the City Football Group has acquired majority of shares in the team.

Both Mumbai and Kerala are placed in the lower half of the points table and a win would help them improve their position.

Mumbai has played six games so far, of which it has won one, drawn three and lost two.

Kerala has also played six, won one, drawn two and lost three.

The host will have its hopes pinned on Tunisian forward Amine Chermiti, who is the side's leading goal scorer so far this season with three goals to his name.

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The Kerala defence will have a tough time if Chermiti fires on all cylinders.

However, all eyes will be on another key player for Mumbai, Modou Sougou, who hasn’t had the best time.

One good game is enough for Sougou to prove his mettle and he will be hoping that the game against Kerala would be the one.

Mumbai has equally strong midfielders comprising Paulo Machoda, Raynier Fernades, Rowlin Borges, Bipin Singh, Mohamed Larbi, Mohammed Asif and Mohammed Rafique and they will have to be on their toes to keep the Kerala forwards at bay. However, its mid-fielder Diego Carlos is out with an injury.

Mumbai's line will be manned by Pratik Chaudhari, Mato Grgic and Sauvik Chakrabarti.

Mumbai’s defence is definitely an area of concern and it would have to put a strong show if it wants to record its second win of the season.

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The role of its custodian Amrinder Singh, who has so far made 17 saves in the tournament, will also be of utmost importance. He would expect to keep a clean sheet.

Mumbai coach Costa admitted that the team is under pressure to deliver victories.

“We are playing under pressure because we need points. We need to be close to the part (in the table) we want and I think that we deserve it,” Costa said.

Speaking about the team’s performance, Costa said, “It is always a problem when you lose points because of an individual’s mistake. However, the good thing we must take away from the last two games is that we are playing as a team and we are playing good.”

For Kerala, its coach would want forward Bartholomew Ogbeche and Messi Bouli to play to their potential.

The side's midfielders and defenders also will have to play to their potential if Mumbai has to stopped in its own den.

Kerala Blasters continues to be without the services of Gianni Zuiverloon in defence, Mario Arques and Moustapha Gning in midfield.

Their replacements in the starting line-up have done reasonably well, especially the calm and composed Jeakson Singh.

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