Mumbai City FC host resurgent Kerala Blasters FC in Indian Super League
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Mumbai City FC host resurgent Kerala Blasters FC in Indian Super League

Mumbai City FC host Kerala Blasters FC on Sunday in the Indian Super League, with an eye on three points and improving their semi-final hopes

football Updated: Jan 13, 2018 19:13 IST
Sarthak Bal
Sarthak Bal
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
ISL 2017-18,Kerala Blasters FC,Mumbai City FC
After a 1-3 loss to Bengaluru FC at home, Kerala Blasters FC’s Indian Super League (ISL) campaign was revived after an Iain Hume (left) hat-trick gave them a 3-0 win over Delhi Dynamos. Blasters would be hoping Hume comes good again in the away fixture against Mumbai City FC on Sunday.(ISL)

Mumbai City FC will look to break into the top-four as they prepare to host a rejuvenated Kerala Blasters FC side at the Mumbai Football Arena on Sunday night.

Mumbai have won three of their four games at home in Indian Super League this season and are also unbeaten in their last three outings.

Kerala have not lost a game under their newly anointed manager David James and will be looking to keep the momentum going. A win for the visitors will elevate them to sixth position, on par with Mumbai on 14 points. They could even end up replacing Mumbai at fifth, but only if they can manage to win by a seven-goal margin against last season’s semifinalists.

Mumbai City’s manager Alexandre Guimaraes stood firm in his belief that his side are more than capable of making the play-offs given composition and abilities of his team.

“Our first goal of the season was to finish close to the playoff spots at the halfway stage and I think we’ve accomplished that. This has put us in a good situation to continue to compete and we hope that we can make the most from run of home games now. I am very confident that we have the resources and the players to fight till the end and be in the top four - that is for sure,” said the Costa Rican.

Guimaraes also expects Sunday’s game will be a great spectacle considering their form but remains cautious of Kerala’s solid defensive set-up.

“I was curious to see the game and how our team has developed from our first game against them (Kerala) and I am pretty sure that tomorrow we will get a good game from the way that we have been playing. They have a very good defensive line so let’s see how we penetrate that line,” said the Costa Rican.

David James, who took charge of Kerala almost halfway through the season, says that his team will have to adapt to Mumbai’s playing style, while still working on ironing out all the shortcomings from their 3-1 win over Delhi Dynamos.

“It was important that we were disciplined and showed no fear. We had to get the result, especially given the results around us. And that is what we have to do tomorrow. Mumbai have a different style of play compared to Delhi - we have to adapt ourselves to that style.

“Fortunately, we have a good coaching staff and have had the opportunity to prepare. As much as the win was enjoyable against Delhi, this is about another away game and we still have to do some things right which we were not able to,” said the former England custodian.

First Published: Jan 13, 2018 12:23 IST