HomeSportsISL: Mumbai City FC face tough task against NorthEast United

ISL: Mumbai City FC face tough task against NorthEast United

On Tuesday, Mumbai City FC and NorthEast United FC will face-off in an Indian Super League (ISL) 2023–24 clash at the Mumbai Football Arena. The Islanders now have the duty of defending their ISL League Winners Shield championship.

At the top of the ISL standings, they have been displaced by the Mohun Bagan Super Giant. Both teams have 36 points apiece, but the Mariners have more points (17) than the Islanders (18). Mumbai City FC has no chance of making any mistakes now that FC Goa (32 points from 17 games) and Odisha FC (35 points from 18 games) are breathing down their necks.

To be fair, they have been playing well lately; in their last five games, they have scored 11 points out of a potential 15. A NorthEast United FC team that has lost eight of a potential twelve points in their last four meetings is up against them.

Also Read: FC Goa qualify for ISL playoffs after thrilling draw against Punjab FC

The squad is still only one point behind Jamshedpur FC (21), who are in sixth place, and they have a game in hand (18) vs the Red Miners (19). However, they were defeated 1-0 by Punjab FC in their most recent encounter. The club has proven that it is strong and possesses a front line that will punish any defensive blunders made by the opposition.

Therefore, by no means can the Islanders afford to take the Highlanders lightly.

Mumbai City FC

In their past five ISL face-offs against NorthEast United FC, Mumbai City FC have gone undefeated. The Islanders have really defeated the Highlanders three times in a row at this point. They have never in the competition gone longer without losing against NorthEast United FC.

The group has now won at home against the Highlanders twice in a row. If they win here, it will match their longest winning streak against the opponents, which was three wins between October 2015 and February 2018.

In their last five competition games, NorthEast United FC has averaged two goals per match, a notable improvement from their previous five-game average of one goal per game. Over the years, they have continued to adhere to the same ideology since 2020.

For instance, they currently lead all teams this season with 155 open-play sequences of 10 or more passes, only surpassed by Odisha FC (195).

NorthEast United FC

On the other hand, NorthEast United FC has only recorded 38 of these sequences this season, indicating that this will be a match between two completely different playing philosophies.

The Highlanders have won their last two away games without a loss. They haven’t played four games in a row longer than this since October–December of 2019.

In stark contrast to the Islanders’ strategy, NorthEast United FC leads all ISL teams in long passes made per game with an average of 72.3 this season. Nonetheless, the Highlanders have the lowest pass completion percentage (40.9%) of any team in the league this term, indicating that the Islanders still need to make improvements to their chosen strategy.

Mumbai City FC prevailed 2-1 in their most recent meeting with the other team, but don’t worry, NorthEast United FC will give them a run for their money.