ISL 2018: Unbeaten NEUFC takes on resurgent Mumbai City FC

NorthEast United will look to extend its unbeaten run when it hosts Mumbai City FC in the Indian Super League on Friday.

Mumbai City FC players train on the eve of their Indian Super League clash against NorthEast United FC.   -  ISL MEDIA

NorthEast United FC has had a remarkable season so far. The Highlanders remain undefeated in its opening five games and will continue to extend its fine run when it hosts Mumbai City FC in the Indian Super League on Friday.

Only one point separates third-placed NorthEast United and fifth-placed Mumbai City, though the host has a game in hand. The home side heads into the fixture with 11 points from five matches while Mumbai City FC has notched 10 points from six games.

The combination of Bartholomew Ogbeche and Fernando Gallego in NorthEast's attack will pose a serious challenge for Mumbai's defenders. Ogbeche leads the goal-scoring chart alongside FC Goa's Ferran Corominas, having scored six goals from five matches. Gallego tops the assist chart with four assists in five games.

While Eelco Schattorie NorthEast United has a perfect away record with three wins out of three, the team is yet to pick up a win at home. An inconsistent Mumbai side will look to make full use of this as Jorge Costa is keen to make a statement of intent.

“They (NorthEast United) had a good start to the season. For the last two-to-three days I was watching NorthEast United and they are very good. In terms of organisation during the 90 minutes, they are really good. This means that we have a very difficult job, but tomorrow it’s 11 against 11 on the field. Our wish is to go back home with the three points,” said Costa.

The combination of Bartholomew Ogbeche and Fernando Gallego will pose a serious challenge to the Mumbai City FC defence.   -  ISL MEDIA

 

After a 5-0 hammering at the hands of FC Goa, Mumbai has fought back into contention with back-to-back wins against Delhi Dynamos and Chennaiyin FC. Moudou Sougou's form in front of goal is encouraging for Costa against a solid-looking NorthEast defence that has conceded only six goals, which is also the number of goals scored by Mumbai City so far this season.

But Schattorie will miss the services of Gurwinder Singh in defence owing to injury. However, the Dutchman is not too worried.

“We have good players up front and we'll try to score one more goal than the opponent. Hopefully, that covers our defence. Having said that, I think there were comments that we had a shaky defence but at this moment, we have conceded the least amount of goals after Bengaluru FC. We are pretty well organised and hopefully we can continue that against Mumbai,” said Schattorie.