Mumbai FC will be seeking their first home win of the season when they host on Salgaocar FC in a clash of two unbeaten teams at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune on Friday.
Visitors and third-placed Salgaocar (7 points) come into the I-League Round-5 encounter on the back of two wins and a draw from three games, whereas the hosts who are currently fifth in the table (6 points) have secured one win and three draws in their four games so far.
Salgaocar will be Mumbai FC’s third Goan opponent in their five opening games after facing the other three – Sporting Clube de Goa, Dempo SC and Churchill Brothers – in the first three rounds.
A first home win will be very important for Mumbai FC and will give them much needed boost for the rest of the campaign. In the first three home games, the hosts have played three consecutive 1-1 draws and will be hoping to break that trend on Friday.
“It’s a very crucial game for us. A win is extremely essential since we have not won at home yet”, said Coach Khalid Jamil who expects a stronger performance from his team.
Jamil is most likely to continue with the same 18-man squad from the last two games which also secured the first win against Churchill Bros. Winger Subash Chakrabarty, who suffered an injury earlier in the season, might come in place of Kamaljeet Kumar if he recovers in time.
Much will depend upon the strike-partnership of Afghan Sandjar Ahmadi and Nigerian Orok Essien upfront in the absence of Yusif Yakubu who is facing some Visa issues and is yet to join the squad. The duo will need to up their performances in front of the goal to help the hosts win games.
For Salgaocar, Coach Derrick Pereira will be back in action at the Balewadi Stadium for the first time since leaving Pune FC at the start of the season.
The visitors have a better head-to-head record against the hosts with seven wins compared to Mumbai FC’s two in ten games so far. A win on the morrow will definitely improve the hosts’ overall record against their Goan counterparts.
The match kicks off at 16.00 IST on Friday.