Mumbai City FC
10th December 2014, 19:oo IST
Only pride will be at stake tomorrow when NorthEast United host Mumbai City at the Indira Gandhi Stadium. The final group stage fixture of the inaugural Indian Super League (ISL) will be a bottom-of-the-table clash. NorthEast United, who are eighth in the standings with 14 points from 13 games, have already been eliminated from the tournament, and although Mumbai City still have a mathematical chance of qualifying to the semi-finals of the ISL, it is safe to say that Peter Reid’s side are just hours away from playing their final ISL game of the season. However, both teams will be keen to avoid being the competition’s “last boy”, and will hence look to come out with a positive result from Guwahati.
Team News and Tactical Brief:
Rickie Herbert’s men will be desperate to end their disappointing ISL campaign with a win over Mumbai. NorthEast United, who started their ISL adventure with a 1-0 win over Kerala Blasters, have slowly faded away as the tournament progressed. The Highlanders have managed to record just three wins in the competition, the lowest in the ISL. Moreover, NorthEast United have thus far scored 10 goals, just one more than the ISL’s least scoring side Kerala. However, the franchise is always a tough to team to play at their own backyard, with a vociferous crowd always cheering on the team for the full course of a game, irrespective of the result. And NorthEast United, who will finish the season in sixth spot if they win against Mumbai, will be looking for a similar atmosphere in their final game.
Probable Starting Lineup (4-1-3-2): Rehenesh TP, Aiborlang Khongjee, Miguel Garcia, Joan Capdevilla, Robin Gurung, Kondwani Mtonga, Boithang Haokip, Leo Bertos, Koke, James Keene, Durga Boro
The Maharashtrian outfit need to defeat NorthEast United by a big scoreline, and hope for Atletico de Kolkata to lose by a similar margin against FC Goa to have any chance of progressing to the semi-finals of the ISL. Hence, it is clear that Mumbai City will be playing no part in this season’s ISL, following their clash with the Highlanders. But make no mistakes, Reid’s side will be hoping to conclude their ISL campaign with a win at the Indira Gandhi Stadium. Mumbai, who edged out Atletico de Kolkata at the weekend, are currently seventh in the standings with 15 points from 13 games. Realistically, Mumbai can finish sixth with a win in Guwahati, as a higher finish is highly unlikely, owing to their poor goal difference. Mumbai City will also be keen to avenge the 2-0 loss suffered at the hands of NorthEast United in the corresponding fixture in late October.
Probable Starting Lineup (4-1-3-2): Subrata Paul, Deepak Mondal, Manuel Friedrich, Pavel Cmovs, Peter Costa, Johan Letzelter, Lalrindika Ralte, Jan Stohanzl, Tiago Ribeiro, Abhishek Yadav, Nicolas Anelka
NorthEast United 1 – Mumbai City 2
Buoyed by their win over Kolkata on Sunday, Mumbai are slight favourites to edge out NorthEast United in the final ISL group stage game of the season.