Pune City FC will play the Maharashtra derby against Mumbai City FC at the Shree Shivchattrapati Sports Complex at Balewadi on Saturday. The hosts will be looking to get the better of their state rivals and try to finish sixth in the table at least till ATK host Delhi Dynamos on Sunday. Mumbai City, on the other hand, will want to get out of their indifferent form towards the fag end of the season and go into the semi-finals on a winning note.
Pune City FC
Pune City started this season of the ISL badly going with seven losses and only one win in their first ten matches. That led to the firing of their coach Miguel Angel Portugal. Pradyum Reddy, the then assistant to Portugal, and Phil Brown thereafter have brought about a revival of fortune for Pune City. Playing some good counter-attacking soccer they have won 4 of their last seven games and drawn two. Though the Stallions have lost their last game to Delhi Dynamos at home, they have shown enough gumption to move up to the seventh place in the table. Phil Brown will look to Marcelinho and Iain Hume, who are among the top four scorers in ISL history to hit the back of the net against Mumbai City.
Mumbai City FC
Mumbai City was having a good run of 9 undefeated matches till they stopped the 11 matches unbeaten run of Bengaluru FC. Thereafter they lost three games in succession, two of them at home. Jorge Costa’s boys, however, have won their last game away against ATK. He will be keen to maintain the winning streak going into the semi-finals. Modou Sougou scored a hat trick in that game. Costa will be looking to Raphael Bastos and Paulo Machado to score against Pune City. The Islanders have already qualified for the playoffs and a win assures them of their third place on the league table no matter what the results of the other games are.
Head to head
Pune City and Mumbai City have met each other on nine occasions in the ISL. Pune City has got the better of the Islanders five times while Mumbai City has overcome the Stallions three times. One match ended in a goalless draw.
Current form of the two teams
Pune City FC has won three of their last six matches and has drawn two. They have however lost their last match against Delhi Dynamos at home. Mumbai City FC has also won three a of their last six matches but has lost the other three. All three losses came one after the other before they won their last away game against ATK.
Pune City has displayed some good form in the second half of the season and would very much like to win this home match in front of their fans. But Mumbai City has the edge after their win against ATK. Mumbai City will win this match and I would bet my money on them.
Score: Pune City 1-2 Mumbai City