Mumbai: Mumbai FC would be aiming for a revenge for their 2-3 away defeat to Pune FC in the Maharashtra I-League football derby at the Cooperage ground here on Sunday.
Mumbai went down to their state rivals at the latter’s home ground on February 4.
However, they later put their campaign back on track and have remained unbeaten at home with a string of three victories – including a 3-0 thrashing of Goa’s glamour outfit Salgaocar – and two drawn encounters.
Pune, thus, will have to pull out all the stops to breach the Cooperage fortress for a victory in the ninth round match that could gain them the top spot in the league table, depending on toppers Mohun Bagan’s clash with Goa’s Dempo just ahead of the match here.
Both Pune and Bagan have 15 points, but the Kolkata outfit has a superior goal difference and has played one fewer game.
Pune have been beaten only once – 3-1 by Bagan in an away match – in eight games in a stretch that has fetched them four wins and three draws.
Mumbai have lost all their three away games so far which has kept them tied to the sixth spot before the break in the league to help India complete its international fixtures.
Mumbai came back in brilliant style after being outplayed in the opening half to hold title holders Bengaluru FC to a 1-1 draw in their eighth round match here on March 3.
Pune recorded a 1-0 victory at home over Royal Wahingdoh after drawing their previous two games in their backyard and would be keen to keep up the winning momentum against the Khalid Jamil-coached home side.
The visitors’ most convincing victory had come in late January – a 5-2 rout of Shillong Lajong. Since then they have scraped to two narrow wins, drawn two games besides losing to Bagan.
They have to breach the tight defence of Mumbai and nullify the danger posed by the home team attack on the artificial turf.
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