Last time out…
NorthEast’s dismal start to the season continued when they came up short against Kerala Blasters. It was never going to be a game filled with goals and NorthEast’s task was made a lot more difficult when their keeper, Rehenesh, was sent off shortly before halftime with them already losing. The ten men didn’t concede again, but they only completed seventy-five passes in the second half which tells its own story.
Mumbai were on the wrong end of a one-nil scoreline as well as they became the first team this season to lose to ATK. A lot of that was to do with the versatile Ryan Taylor who will do very well in the ISL, but even still, Mumbai gaffer, Guimares, would have been bitterly disappointed not to come away with three points, especially considering their home record.
The press conferences…
Joao De Deus knows that his side aren’t scoring enough and he began his press conference by saying that it needs to change.
“Of course we need to start getting more points and more goals. Both of them are inter-related so when that happens we will get more points for sure”
He then went on to say that Kumar is the best keeper because Rehenesh is suspended:
“He played the first five matches because the coach thinks he is the best goalkeeper. But now, the coach thinks Ravi Kumar is the best goalkeeper because he shall play tomorrow.”
Hardly going to say he is useless, mind. When asked if he was under pressure to get three points he had this to say;
“I deal with pressures all day but it is my own pressure which is greater than anything else,”
They have still only scored twice this season, but Joao knows it’s not down to a lack of trying.
“We are getting into so many good scoring chances but it is not happened. Maybe it will change soon in a couple of games.”
He finished off by admirably not hiding behind his team’s injury problems by saying:
“So you can see that injuries are not our problem. Our problem is putting the ball in the back of the net”
On the other side, Alexandre Guimares is noticing the improvement in the local players in the ISL.
“It’s a good opportunity for the local players to have more playing time and that changes the game a little bit. I think all of them are trying to improve a lot,”
He was also very pleased with the facilities at NorthEast United that his team have used in preparation for the game
“Good thing is that we have arrived two days before and can have a good practice session in good practice grounds given by the NorthEast United.”
He finished his press conference with his cards as close as ever to his chest when he responded to a question regarding his starting XI with this:
“It’s a long night. I still have to think about that,”
The game itself…
Similar to NorthEast’s last game, this is again, very difficult to call. Mumbai are the favourites if you look at the league table, although, if the points go to the home side, they will overtake Mumbai and shoot up the table to fifth.
You can’t imagine there being many goals in it as in the 11 games that they’ve played, there’s been a grand total of nineteen goals. I think it will probably be 0-0 or 1-0 either way. Cue goal-fest.
Ones to watch…
Marcinho – You can’t really look beyond the Brazilian when it comes to who makes NorthEast tick. He is one of only two players who has scored for the away side this evening and he will be looking to add to that tally tonight. You really do get the impression that if NorthEast are going to get anything, it will come through him.
Rafa Jorda – He’s yet to really get going for Mumbai but when he gets one I believe that the floodgates will open. He’s not prolific by any stretch of the imagination but his height is a great asset for Mumbai to use and NorthEast will have to keep a close eye on the Spaniard, should they want to win.
One more thing…
If I was a betting man and luckily I am, I’d be backing under 0.5 first-half goals @ 5/4.