Mumbai, Feb 26 (IANS) Mumbai FC will play host to Goan football club Sporting Clube de Goa in a mid-table clash of I-League at the Cooperage Stadium here on Saturday.
After eight games, Sporting are fourth on the leader board with 11 points where as the home side is sixth on the nine-team ladder with nine points.
But what would be of concern for both outfits is that they are coming off defeats. Sporting were beaten by defending champions Mohun Bagan (0-1) and Mumbai FC lost to newcomers Aizawl FC (0-2).
Mumbai will, however, want to keep in mind that all three points from the game will help them replace Sporting as the fourth placed side on the table. On the other hand, a win for the visitors will get them within touching distance of Bengaluru, who are third with 15 points.
Both sides will therefore want to do their homework right, before the game. But then again, what preparation in the world can stop Sporting’s Okolie Odafa from scoring?
The Nigerian has netted five already this season from eight appearances and is a threat to any opposition as long as he is on the pitch. The Mumbai defence which include Michol Son and they will have their task cut out to stop the dreaded attacker who has become a legend of the league over the years.
Mumbai can be a force to reckon with if they are given space up front. Arata Izumi, Jayesh Rane have pace and the skills needed to outfox rival defenders and score.
After holding Bagan to a goalless draw some weeks back, Mumbai haven’t had much going their way and would want to move forward to make a statement by grabbing full points at home.
Meanwhile, Sporting are wary of the chinks in the Mumbai armour and Mateus Costa would hope his strikers can catch the hosts with swift counter attacks and peg them back.