ISL 2017: Preview â€“ FC Pune City v/s Mumbai City FC - Finding the right combinations
BOTH FC Pune City and Mumbai City FC won their respective last games but both are yet to show some real character.
Yes, FC Pune City won by a big 1-4 margin but most goals were from counter attacks. While that can also be a tactical game, Pune never real posed too many attacking threats in that game.
Mumbai City beat FC Goa 2-0 at home but FC Goa could be said to not have luck on their side. The first goal, was an error by Goa keeper Kattimani leading to the goal. FC Goa themselves saw some great saves by Amrinder to save the day for his team and also had a goal disallowed due to being ruled offside.
Heading into this face-off of the two Maharashtrian teams, is actually a game of equals. Opening match losses followed by wins. With marked improvements in the second game from their first, the coaches have rectified the flaws in various places. Lack of availability of key players had hit them in the first game but that remains to be a challenge for all teams through the season. How teams grapple with missing key players is always a challenge.
Pune got their combination duo of Alfaro and Marcelinho working but Mumbai City may expect to keep that in mind when they take the field. Against ATK, Pune defence were able to absorb the pressure but unable to cut the fast-paced wings which continued to send good balls in the box. That could be one area that Mumbai could exploit.
Mumbai must look back on the number of times their defence was breached and prayed Amrinder came to their rescue to help keep a clean sheet. The defence will be sealed up in this game. Emana in the midfield could not match up the swift movements of Forlan from last year. Emana ended up losing the ball to faster opposition players while on attack. Guimaraes may just try out one of the other options in central midfield.
Leo Costa and Kean Lewis are vital players in the coach's plan but they must be sweating over their fitness and availability. Balwant Singh returned to the field but was a disappointment throughout the last game, may take a couple of games before he gets his golden touch back.
Both teams might take a cautious approach trying not to concede early and may change the tactics based on the situation.
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