Mumbai City FC
Balewadi Sports Complex, Pune
5th October 2015, 19:00 IST
Having failed to make the play-offs last year, FC Pune City and Mumbai City FC will be rearing to start their season as they clash in the much-awaited Maharashtra Derby on Monday.
FC Pune City looked like they could squeeze their way into the play-offs at the end last season, instead they finished closer towards the bottom of the table. David Platt’s side will come out all guns blazing and would look to make start the campaign on a high, and they certainly have the repertoire to do so this time out. Unlike the hosts, Mumbai City FC could never really get going last season and finished a spot below their Maharashtra rivals. It was a disappointing campaign for Ranbir Kapoor’s team, which has seen them sign the best player in India. There is also change of personnel, with Peter Reid replaced by Nicolas Anelka.
Team News And Tactics
FC Pune City
Hrithik Roshan has done some exciting business in the transfer market, bringing in players who will be key to FC Pune City’s fate. Marquee signing Mutu is expected to spearhead the hosts’ line-up with Tuncay and Manish on either side of him. Didier Zakora will also be seen making his debut for the club, sitting in front of the back four. They have retained five promising Indian players who are also expected to feature. The signings that Pune have made suggest David Platt will probably go with a 4-1-2-3 formation.
David Platt’s sqaud contain two goalkeepers in Arindam Bhattacharya and Lalit Thapa, the trusted defenders Dharmaraj Ravanan, a former Dempo player, and Lenny Rodrigues, the highest paid India player last year and Israil Gurung in the midfield. These are players who can cause serious problems to the opposition. Arindam has been a regular custodian for the side. The hosts will be without Lyngdoh, Kotal and Jackichand ho are all on national duty. Its a great chance for the likes of Gurung, Lenny and Manish to mark their places.
Probable Starting XI: Arindam Bhattacharya; Gurung, Diego Colotto, Roger Johnson, Dharmaraj Ravanan; Didier Zokora, James Bailey, Lenny; Tuncay Sanli, Manish, Adrian Mutu
FC Pune City probable 11 v Mumbai City FC probable 11
Mumbai City FC
Mumbai City FC possess the best attacking threat in the country. The two players up-front are lethal enough to label the team as the best attacking unit. If India’s best, Sunil Chettri and the Great Nicolas Anelka are the cake, midfield maestro Andre Moritz is the iceing on it. Mumbai were too reliant on Moritz and Anelka last season, and injuries to both, cost the Blues dearly.
Mumbai have local boys Keegan Pereira and the versatile Ashutosh Mehta in the team, along with Lalchhuanmawia Fanai and Brandon Fernandes, so manager-coach Nicolas Anelka is not short of options. Anelka will go with a 4-4-1-1 formation with Chettri playing behind him as the No.10.The Blue Army as they have been known to be called by their fans, did well to keep Czech defender Pavel Cmovs at the club as they added the services of Franz Bertin, former PSG midfielder Selim Benachour and ex-Celtic defender Darren Oa Dea. The visitors will miss Sunil Chettri who is on national duty seeking his 51st goal for India. He will be replaced by Subhash, who scored against Pune City FC in the 5-0 thumping last year.
Probable Starting XI: Subrata Pal; Ashutosh Mehta, Franz Bertin, Pavel Cmovs, Periera; Brandon Fernandes, Juan Aguilera, Andre Moritz, Sony Norde;Subhash, Nicholas Anelka
FC Pune City 2-3 Mumbai City FC
Mumbai City FC are full of goals. It will be difficult for Pune City FC to contain them, but it could leave Mumbai City exposed at the back. Both these teams will have a similar approach to the game; attack. But we fancy the visitors to win the attacking battle. It makes for an exciting contest to see both these giants trying to outscore each other.