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NorthEast United face record-chasing Mumbai City (Match Preview 76)

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Bambolim (Goa), Jan 29 (IANS) Mumbai City FC will equal FC Goa’s record for the longest unbeaten run in the Indian Super League (ISL) if they win or draw their next match against NorthEast United on Saturday in Bambolim. Mumbai are unbeaten in their last 12 games, having won nine and drawn thrice, and are currently leading the table with 30 points.

FC Goa had set the record by going unbeaten in 13 matches in 2015. Mumbai have, however, dropped points in the last three games. They were held twice and were able to score just two in those games and now face NorthEast, who are the only team to have managed a win against Mumbai this season.

“I am not worried about the past game. NorthEast have improved a lot in the last two games. They are playing good attacking football and are comfortable with the ball and keep possession,” said head coach Sergio Lobera.

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Some of the Mumbai players are already on three yellow cards and are on the verge of suspensions but Lobera stressed the importance of a win. “We need three points every game and every match is important for us. We need to play thinking of three points,” he said.

Meanwhile, NorthEast seem to have turned a corner under interim coach Khalid Jamil and have won their last two matches. At the same time, it has been seven games since they last maintained a clean sheet. Assistant coach Alison Kharsyntiew is aware of the threat that Mumbai poses.

“Mumbai City are a good team. But we must believe that we can beat them tomorrow. We just have to be disciplined in our attacking and defending principles and be confident,” said Kharsyntiew.

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Mumbai have scored the most (19 goals) and conceded the least (5) in the league. The side is capable of creating problems for their opponents if given enough room.

“We need to dictate the play. We need to control the game and yes if we don’t have the ball, we have to defend well. We have to be patient with the ball, create chances and utilize it and that’s the main aim for us,” Kharsyntiew said.

–IANS

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