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SPO-ISL MUMBAI-PREVIEW


PTI mumbai India
Updated: 05-12-2018 19:00 IST

Hosts Mumbai.City FC will be keen

to continue with their winning streak when they take on a

beleaguered Chennaiyin FC on Thursday in an Indian Super

League game here.

The Islanders are on a five-match unbeaten run,

winning four games.

If they manage to avoid defeat against Chennaiyin, it

will be their best unbeaten run in the history of the ISL and

much of the credit has to go to their mean defence which has

leaked in a mere two goals since conceding five against FC

Goa.

Mumbai, who suffered an embarrassing loss in Goa, did

not look back after that match.

In the last game against Delhi Dynamos, Mumbai.City FC

won 4-2.

"We have changed a lot of things compared to last

season. We did not have a lot of time at the beginning of the

season. We needed time to adjust. Now, we have no excuses and

we need to keep working and fighting for the three points,"

said Mumbai.City FC's head coach Jorge Costa.

Paulo Machado continues to be the chief orchestrator

for Costa's side in midfield and Arnold Issoko's direct

running on the right flank has also caused a lot of trouble to

the opposition defences.

Modou Sougou hasn't been on the score-sheet since

their 1-0 win in Chennai and tomorrow's game is an opportunity

for him to increase his tally against Chennaiyin FC's

disjointed defence, which has shipped in 19 goals.

Chennaiyin FC coach John Gregory was also appreciative

of their opponents.

"I think they have a well-balanced team. I like

Arnold, it's very hard to shake him off the ball. (Matias)

Mirabaje is great too but I think he's been injured

frequently. I also like the captain (Lucian Goian) but I think

the strength of Mumbai lies in their teamwork. They don't have

any weak areas as such and are well-balanced," said Gregory.

Chennaiyin FC have had a season to forget so far

having amassed five points from their opening 10 games.

They have eight matches to go and in coach John

Gregory's words, they need a 'miracle' to make it into the top

four.

"We're a long way off from the play-offs and I think

we need to win all the remaining eight games to even stand a

chance of getting anywhere near the play-offs. But football

being football, nothing is impossible! We need to win some

points for our pride as I think we have performed nowhere to

our standards this season," said the Englishman.

The Marina Machans, however, wouldn't want to throw in

the towel as they will want to prove a point or two.

The players are certainly under pressure as the big

names have failed to live up to the billing.

Jeje Lalpekhlua has endured his worst season in the

ISL with no goals to show for his efforts.

Jerry Lalrinzuala too has looked shaky at the back and

hasn't had the same impact when going forward.

Mohammed Rafi, the experienced striker, could possibly

get a chance to start as Gregory would look to chop and change

in order to arrest their slide.

But with Mumbai on the rampage, the Chennai side, it

seems, would have a difficult time.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

COUNTRY : India

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