I-League: DSK face Mumbai FC in Maharashtra derby (Preview)

Mumbai, April 23 (IANS) DSK Shivajians FC will hope to end their debut I-League season on a high when they take on Mumbai FC in the Maharashtra derby at the Cooperage Stadium here on Sunday.

A loss against Aizawl FC in the previous game brought an end to their seven-match unbeaten run, but the Pune-based club would not settle for anything less than a victory in the Round 18 tie.

Currently sitting in the eighth spot, the visitors would like to end their maiden I-League campaign with three points, which could potentially propel them to the fifth spot.

On the other hand, Mumbai FC are still in the woods, sitting just one point clear of relegation and would need at least a victory to ensure safety, unless results across the league don’t work in their favour.

The Mumbai-based club boast an impeccable home form, having not lost any match at the Cooperage, which would add to the size of the task that lies ahead for DSK Shivajians.

The match, being billed as the Maharashtra Derby, will see two teams who have scored the same amount of goals (16) through the season take on each other. Pierrick Dipanda leads the charts for DSK Shivajians with seven goals, while Sushil Kumar takes up that mantle for the Mumbai club with four goals.

Talking about the importance of the last match in the I-League, DSK Shivajians’ coach Derrick Pereira said, “It is a must win match for us. We will need all three points if we need to be a part of the Federation Cup draw. We will work hard and do our best to produce a good performance.”

DSK will be without Haroon Amiri, who will not be available for selection after he received his fourth caution of the season in the match against Aizawl FC. On the other hand, Arif Shaik and Melvin Lobo have returned to the squad mix ahead of this season’s last I-League match.

–IANS

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