Mumbai, Oct 15 (IANS) After a quiet start to the second season of the Indian Super League (ISL), Mumbai City FC will aim to register their first win of the campaign when they take on a confident Chennaiyin FC in their first home match at the D.Y. Patil Stadium here on Friday.
Placed in the bottom half of the table at the seventh position with one draw and a loss against Kerala Blasters FC and FC Pune City respectively, Mumbai will have to pull up their socks in order to gather full points in front of their home crowd. On the other hand, Chennaiyin come into the match full of confidence, having crushed FC Goa 4-0 in their last encounter.
They had lost to Atletico de Kolkata and Delhi Dynamos FC in their first two matches. The team from Chennai now have three points from as many matches and are placed at the sixth spot in the points table. Ahead of Friday’s clash, Mumbai received a big blow with midfielder and first season’s only hat-trick scorer Andre Moritz heading home for personal reasons.
The Brazilian was the star player and top scorer for the team in the first season and was someone to watch out for this time too, and his absence will surely be felt with the team having a poor start to their campaign. Nicolas Anelka, who has taken on the extra responsibility of being the marquee-player-cum-coach for this season, is yet to display his skills on the field.
Concentrating more on managing the side than his on-field role, the former French international will have to re-group his players and get the team strategy right ahead of the crucial clash against a confident Chennaiyin side. With the absence of Moritz, India national captain Sunil Chhetri, who was bagged in the Indian players auction ahead of this season, will hold the key upfront along with Haitian striker Sony Norde, who knows the Indian conditions well after playing for Mohun Bagan in the I-League.
On the other hand, Chennaiyin manager Marco Materazzi will want his boys to start from where they left off against Goa. A sublime performance in the last match will surely boost their confidence when they take the field on Friday. Steven Mendoza, who scored a hat-trick in the last match and the first in Season 2 will be someone to watch out for yet again alongside Elano Blumer. Materazzi’s change in tactics in the last match worked wonders for the side and the Italian World Cup winner will hope to implement the same against Mumbai and come out victorious.