After starting the season with away fixtures and then playing a couple in Pune as its home stadium was getting ready, Josep Gombau’s team has notched two home wins in a row at the Kalinga Stadium. It edged Jamshedpur 2-1 before defeating Chennaiyin 2-0 in its
Mumbai City’s three-game winning run was brought to a halt as it suffered a defeat at the hands of an in-form ATK side in its last game. It has lost only once in its last seven fixtures and this run of form has seen them climb to the fourth spot with 16 points from 11 matches.
Odisha has been inconsistent and has not been able to find a rhythm yet, but is not far behind, at fifth with 15 points. It has looked brilliant at times, playing attractive football, but has been found wanting at the back. Aridane Santana scored a brace as Odisha defeated Mumbai 4-2 away from home earlier this season.
Ahead of the reverse fixture, Gombau felt that being able to play at its home ground, in front of its supporters, should give the players extra motivation to do well.
“It is a very important game for us. It is a six-point game, it is for the top four. Tomorrow (Saturday) two-thirds of the league will be over. We are confident, we are working hard. The boys are hungry and I think we can do a good job.
“I think for a long time we did not play home games. We played 10 games away. Then to come here and get the support of the people here is great. Finally, we are playing at home and it is extra motivation. We are happy to be here,” said Gombau.
Mumbai assistant coach Marco Leite believes it is important to focus on itself more than its opponent and is confident that it can do a good job against a top-four rival.
“They have a very good team. They do simple things but very effectively. They have players that can unbalance the matches but so do we. They have their weapons and we have ours,” said Leite.