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I-League   /   Aizawl FC   /   Mumbai FC   /  

PREVIEW: Aizawl's home record makes them favourite ; a win will steady Mumbai's ship

THIS GAME HAS A LOT OF EMOTIONS attached especially for Khalid Jamil and those who have closely worked with him.  

Khalid is known to be a man of few words. His answers are always to the point and it gives one a feeling that he might be too interested to speak to the media. But then we saw that a different Khalid when he expressed himself at the post-match press conference at away win at Mumbai at the start of the season.

At the other end, there have a coach that loves to interact with the media and has is never been short of words; we are talking about Santosh Kashyap. After a great start, Mumbai FC have been slowed down in the aim of finishing in the top three of the league being winless in 9 consecutive games. But Kashyap insists the aim is far from gone out of hand.

Aizawl FC, relegated last year, are having another great run this season after being Federation Cup runners up last season. They have scored in every game barring the away loss to Chennai City FC. Scoring consistently has been the key to their success so far. But just scoring cannot do the job in the league, it must be backed by a solid defensive show. Aizawl FC have five clean sheets and four of them have been at home, completely showing the defensive strength of the People's Club. To continue sticking close to the league front runners, the need for them to score an early goal is very crucial.

For Mumbai FC, every lost point from now on takes them closer to confirmed relegation. They must aim to get at least a two goal cushion to ease their nerves. Mumbai were beaten at home after a very long time, a feat that was not an easy task for teams when Khalid was in charge. Santosh's men will treat this as a chance to avenge for their defeat at home.  A defeat by Mumbai FC on Khalid's men will cause a dent on Aizawl FC's ambition of carrying on a steady run for a long time.

Aizawl must be wary of one thing that might come into play if Mumbai are in the lead and the away team decides that is the score they want to end the match with. That is about going ultra defensive like it was done towards the end of the game against Mohun Bagan at the Cooperage. Also another one is deliberately disrupting the play by going to ground easily and prolonged lying on the floor attracting referee's attention or some other time wasting tactic. We saw Albert Roca of Bengaluru FC complain about the same at the post match after the recent Cooperage game.

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