Bambolim, Feb 7 (PTI) With just one defeat in their last 14 matches in an impressive season, Mumbai City FC would look to continue their momentum and beat FC Goa in their return-leg Indian Super League match to virtually seal a play-offs berth here on Monday.
At the top of the table with 33 points from 15 matches, Sergio Lobera's Mumbai City have lost just two matches this season, which they began with a defeat. They will be on the verge of qualifying for the play-offs if they win on Monday.
The first game between these two teams was heavily hyped with Lobera taking on his former side, but it did not quite live up to the billing with FC Goa's Redeem Tlang receiving an early red card and tipping the scales in Mumbai's favour.
Both teams will be eager to prove a point as they go head-to-head again.
For Mumbai, a win is necessary to keep the top spot with ATK Mohun Bagan now just three points behind. But with Goa unbeaten in eight games, Lobera knows that is easier said than done.
'We are playing against a very good team. They are playing under pressure because they need to reach the playoffs and there are more teams competing to achieve this target. We are thinking about ourselves, trying to improve a few things,' said Lobera.
'As always, it's important to know some details about the opponent. But the most important thing for me as a coach is if my team play 100%, I am very confident and positive that we'll get the three points tomorrow,' he added.
FC Goa are among the teams vying for the final two play-off slots. Juan Ferrando knows that any slip-up at this stage will cost his team dear, but he refused to concede that it would be his team who would be under pressure.
'For Goa, we have pressure on us every game because we want to improve and get three points every game,' he said.
'Maybe Mumbai have more pressure because of their budget, their team it's supposed to be ready to win the championship. The most important us is to improve, play good, prepare a good plan (against our opponents) and get the three points.' Although Mumbai are the top-scoring team this season, FC Goa's Igor Angulo's goal last week took his tally to 10 for the season, and up against him will be the current leader for the Golden Glove award in Amrinder Singh.
Mumbai City, who have accumulated the most yellow cards this season, will have everyone in the squad eligible to be picked, much to the content of Lobera, who has vowed to work on the disciplinary aspect. PTI PDS PDS AH AH