Mumbai FC will have to sweat it out when they take on Pune FC in an I-League Round 20 home clash on Saturday at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi.
Mumbai FC go into the game with two draws in their last two games, something Pune FC will be keen to cash in on. Both the teams go into the game with similar runs in their campaigns. Mumbai FC’s mid-season rally surged their position from the bottom of the standings to fifth place after Round 12. But, in the subsequent six games, the Mumbai team has managed only one win.
Likewise, Pune FC had a nine-match unbeaten run (including seven wins), but from Round 15, they have managed only one point (vs Sporting Clube de Goa at home).
However, one thing that gives Pune FC the edge is their better record in these Maha Derbies. Pune FC have won three and drawn three from the eight head-to-head clashes.
The key for Pune FC will be to get the first goal and counter Mumbai FC’s typical time-wasting theatrics they have so often employed.
Mumbai FC would bank on their ever-reliant foreign recruits with experienced Yusuf Yakubu (6) leading their charts accompanied by Nigerian ND Opara (5). Even the defensive Evans Quao (4) has chipped in, highlighting Mumbai’s reliance on set-pieces to get past the defence.