After one day break, the Indian Super League is all set to resume with Maha derby between the two Maharashtra teams, Mumbai City and Pune City. Both the teams didn’t had best of starts, but Pune City, crucially, managed to get a point in their away game in Delhi, despite allowing Delhi to dominate the proceedings. Mumbai City, on the other hand, allowed Kolkata to comfortably win 3-0 against them as they were below par in the opening ISL game.
The Mumbai team, coached by former Sunderland coach Peter Reid, has not been able to build a coherent team, probably due to lack of enough time. They looked disjointed against Kolkata and were especially lacking in the defence and in finishing, as they created a few chances which came to nothing.
Mumbai team has many problems in their squad. Top level players – Freddie Ljungberg and Nicolas Anelka are missing. Anelka is serving FIFA ban for his Nazi salute, while Ljunberg is down with a calf strain. To pile up the misery, experienced Indian player Rahim Nabi is also out with the injury sustained in the last game. Mumbai needs to get their top foreigners like Manuel Friedrich and Pavel Cmovs play to their full potential to compensate for the absence of their top players. André Moritz, who came in the second half of the Kolkata game is likely to get a nod after an impressive showing. Indian players like Raju Gaikwad, Subrata Paul and Lalrindika Ralte will also need to shoulder a lot of responsibility.
Pune City’s Italian coach Franco Colombo escaped with a goalless draw in the first game, but if his team continues to play similarly they don’t have much chance in this Indian Super League. Davide Colombo (coach’s son) and Joaquim Abranches are the only players who are out with injury, other players are available for selection. Pune do have some world class players in their squad. Juventus’ French star David Trezeguet and Greek Kostas Katsouranis will be key men for the Pune boys. Kostas, however, played ineffectively in the last game, and Trezeguet faded out in the second half. Among Indian players Ashutosh Mehta had made some impact down the right wing and he will be a sure started tonight. The fans will be hoping to see some more team chemistry than what was shown by them in the Delhi match.
The match can be seen on internet through the live stream provided by star sports.