Preview: Hosts Mumbai City FC will be eager to record a crucial win against FC Pune City in the Maharashtra Derby when the two sides face off in a Indian Super League match on Sunday.
Mumbai are currently languishing in seventh place with 17 points after 13 matches and need a win to keep alive their hopes of making it to the last four and qualifying for the play-offs.
On the other hand, the visiting Stallions are comfortably placed second in the table with 25 points after 14 matches and would be equally eager to score a win and boost their chances for the play-offs.
When the two teams met last in Pune in November, the Pune outfit edged out Mumbai 2-1 and the hosts would thus be eager to avenge that loss and reclaim the bragging rights.
In their last three home games, Mumbai City FC have suffered defeats at the hands of Jamshedpur FC (2-1), Bengaluru FC (3-1) and Kerala Blasters (1-0).
Thus, the home players would like to erase those memories at the Mumbai Football Arena in the Andheri Sports Complex.
Mumbai's defence, especially Gerson Vieira and Lucian Goian, backed up by an alert custodian in Amrinder Singh needs to be on the alert.
In attack, Balwant Singh, Brazilian Everton Santos and attacking mid-fielders Brazilian Thiago Santos and Cameroonian Achille Emana can breach any good defence on their day and Pune's solid backline this season will be no exception.
Pune have been in good form. Star striker Marcelinho, who has been a top-scorer for his side and also scored the only goal of the match to earn Ranko Popovic's side a vital away win against
NorthEast United in their previous fixture, has been in scintillating form recently.
Along with the Brazilian, the visitors also boast an effective forward line with Emiliano Alfaro and Diego Carlos to call upon.
Midfielders Baljit Sahni, Issac Vanmalsawma, Jonathan Lucca and new recruit Marko Stankovic have all put in impressive performances so far this season.
While FC Pune City has been firing on all cylinders, their backline of Adil Khan, Gurtej Singh, Rafael Lopez and Sahil Panwar along with in-form custodian Vishal Keith have proved they are a tough nut to crack.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Feb 11, 2018 20:03:30 IST