Match Preview: Mumbai City FC vs. Chennaiyin FC

Mumbai City FC get a chance today to take revenge for the hiding that Chennaiyin FC dished out to them in the opposite fixture. Mumbai couldn’t wish for better circumstances either. Here’s why Mumbai City FC wouldn’t get another chance to pay back Chennaiyin FC for that ignominious 5 – 1 defeat.

  1. They are on a five match unbeaten run which began after that Chennaiyin FC demolition.
  2. Of those 5, they’ve won 2 and drawn 3.
  3. In those 5 games, they haven’t conceded a single goal.
  4. Chennaiyin FC is thoroughly weakened and are without Elano, Mendoza, and Gouramangi.

In fact, even though Chennaiyin FC will go into this match severely weakened they also have a number of things going for them. Consider.

  1. Chennaiyin FC are top of the table and can go 3 points clear of Atletico De Kolkata who lost their last game.
  2. They are on an unbeaten streak stretching six games to when they destroyed Mumbai City FC.
  3. Of their 6 games, they’ve won 2 and drawn 4.

What Mumbai City FC & Chennaiyin FC’s Management is Saying

Mumbai City FC vs. Chennaiyin FC

Mumbai City FC vs. Chennaiyin FC

Not surprisingly, both teams’ camps also reflect their respective situations. There are also subtle hints on what the managers are thinking if you listen to what they said in their press conferences.

Mumbai City FC’s assistant coach Steve Darby specifically stated that his team’s defence is ready for payback. He’s clearly trying to buck his team up and induce a certain pride and passion in the team. In other words, he’s trying to get them to forget the ignominy of their last defeat to Chennaiyin FC because sometimes such heavy defeats have a tendency to root themselves in the mind. Moreover, I think the Mumbai management knows that this’ll be their best chance of beating Chennaiyin FC because of the number of players they are missing.

In Chennaiyin FC’s camp, Marco Materazzi is trying to minimise expectations and pressure to deliver from his players’ shoulders. He knows the kind of void the absence of players like Elano and Mendoza can create and is trying to subliminally tell his players that it’s OK and that he only wants their best on the pitch. Materazzi clearly said that he isn’t all that “concerned” whether his team wins, draws, or loses as long as they do it as a “team”. I read that as, “I’m not too sure how we’ll perform so I want our players to give their best together”.

For instance, he’s trying to make his Indian players feel better about themselves and telling the media, “we need to show them respect as players and for their talent.” He essentially wants the Indian media to stop selling our Indian players short and as some of them have shown they deserve it too.

The Bottom Line

With a win today, Mumbai City FC can get back amongst the elite top 4 of the league and improve their chances of qualifying for the knockout phase of the tournament. Chennaiyin FC’s win, as I said earlier, will mean that they’ll open up a 3 point gap to the second spot and Atletico De Kolkata.