ISL: Blasters face red-hot Mumbai City

Kerala Blasters
Kerala Blasters players during a training session. Photo: KBFC

Margao: Mumbai City FC will look to extend their four-game winning run when they take on Kerala Blasters FC inan Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, here on Sunday.

Reigning champions Mumbai have been on a stellar run, steamrollering teams more often than not. In their last outing, Des Buckingham's side was put to test by a defensively solid Chennaiyin FC but still managed to find the winner in the 86th minute.

Sitting pretty at the top of the heap with 15 points from six matches, Mumbai will aim to virtually secure a play-off spot as early as they can.

At the heart of Mumbai's success has been Ahmed Jahouh. The Moroccan midfielder provided another assist in the last match taking his tally to five for the season. He has provided assists in five matches this season.

Mumbai have also been sharp from set-pieces, converting nine - the most by any team so far this season. The Islanders' most effective set-piece weapon has been free-kicks with five of their nine goals coming from that source. Jahouh's dead-ball skills and work done on the training pitch has shown so far with the side benefiting from that a lot.

"I am happy where the players are. We were the last to start pre-season. But I am happy with the work we have done and adapted to as a unit," Buckingham said on the eve of the game.

"We have had a good start to the season but that's what it is. It's a 20-game season. We need to get better in every game. We need to have answers to different challenges," he added.

Meanwhile, Blasters are eighth in the table with just one win in their kitty. They drew their last game 1-1 with bottom side SC East Bengal and will look to get back to winning ways. But for that, they will have to put their best foot forward.

"Everyone's trying to stay positive and be consistent. We want to fight for every game and every point," Blasters head coach Ivan Vukomanovic said.

"This is the type of game you want to play and look forward to," he added.

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