Aizawl, Feb 19 (IANS) Mumbai FC would desperately be searching for their first away-win this season when they take on newly-promoted outfit Aizawl FC in an I-League match here on Saturday.
The visitors are placed fifth on the nine-team I-League table with nine points from two wins and three draws in seven games. On the other hand, Aizawl are in the eighth spot with five points from a win and two draws.
Mumbai FC coach Khalid Jamil mentioned that they are looking to recover from the loss of the last game where they were beaten by Sporting Clube de Goa 2-3.
“We are hoping to bounce back and perform well after a disappointing defeat against Sporting Clube de Goa. Aizawl are a good team, but we will work hard and try to get our first away win against them,” Jamil said.
However, Mumbai FC face a daunting task as they go into the match sans the services of their skipper Taisuke Matsugae, who will miss the fourth straight game as he is still nursing a calf strain.
Another major worry for Jamil is that Min-Chol Son, the heart and soul of the team’s defence, has also been ruled out due to a foot injury sustained in the last game against Sporting. Both Taisuke and Son along with the experienced Ashutosh Mehta who is also down with an injury have not travelled with the team.
Jamil will now have to bank on Pratik Chowdhary and Anwar Ali to take care of the central defence. He will also look to fullbacks Allan Dias and Srikant Ramu to form a formidable backline. Former India star N.P. Pradeep is expected to continue to wear the captain’s armband and will have an important role to play along with Izumi Arata, Eric Brown and Jayesh Rane.
Sushil Kumar Singh, who scored both the goals in the last game, and Ryuki Kozawa will have to be sharper upfront.
A win would ensure that the Mumbai team does not slip further in the standings. Aizawl will also be determined to go all out for a win which would lift them away from the bottom half of the table. In four home games, they have a win against DSK Shivajians and drawn with Shillong Lajong in the last outing and two defeats to Bengaluru FC and Sporting Clube de Goa.