Mumbai City FC take on Kerala Blasters in their third-last game of the Indian Super League (ISL) this season — third-last only if either of them fail to qualify for the playoffs.
The DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai will host the bottom-of-the-table clash on Thursday evening. Never mind their position in the table, the two teams have some unfinished business in the ISL this season, and both of them are expected to give the fight of their life today to eke out three points.
Mumbai remain seventh in the table with 12 points so far, while Kerala Blasters remain at the bottom with 11 points garnered from the same number of games.
Nicolas Anelka's Mumbai City FC look frustrated to the core, having been unable to win any of their previous five games; the combination of Sunil Chhetri and Sony Norde worked wonders for just three games, but the magic somehow fizzled out after that.
For Kerala Blasters, the previous defeat at the hands of Chennaiyin FC in a highly volatile South Indian derby has hit hard, and this match gives them plenty of opportunity for a turnaround.
On paper, both teams have equal chances, but Mumbai somehow look to have an upper edge owing to the presence of more star players. Having said that, one has to ponder upon the recent form of Anelka's team.
Terry Phelan's side, on the other hand, have a win from their previous two games in the league.
By the looks of it, the game is going to be an all-out battle, and football fans, at the end of the day, will enjoy a great game. "We're going out to attack. There is no use going out there and just defending. We have to get the ball, go attack and win the game," said Phelan in the pre-match press conference. "There are a few teams in that desperate position now, not just Kerala Blasters. But we have to go out there and perform to the best of our ability. That's all I can ask of the lads."
Mumbai City FC, too, have to garner three wins from their remaining three games, and Anelka is looking forward to staying on the bench tonight to give directions, rather than being a part of the match as a player.
"If you look at the situations — when I've played and not played — we've been better when I've not played. So, I may put myself on the bench. I will be trying to concentrate on coaching," said the Frenchman.
Where to watch the game
The crucial tie between between Mumbai City FC and Kerala Blasters is scheduled to kick-off at 7 pm IST (2:30 pm BST, 9:30 am ET).
Viewers in India can catch the game on Star Sports 2, Star Sports HD2, Star Sports 3,Star Sports HD3, Star Utsav, Star Gold (both Hindi), Asianet Movies (Malayalam), Jaya Max (Tamil), Suvarna TV (Kannada) and Jalsha Movies (Bengali). The live streaming is available on Starsports.com and Hotstar.
Viewers in the UK, South East Asia, Singapore, and Hong Kong can catch the game onStar Gold.
Viewers in Canada can watch the game on CBN and ATN.
Eurosport remains the destination for the viewers in Europe. The live streaming is available on Eurosport Player.
Audience in the Middle East and North Africa can also catch the ISL game on OSN, with live streaming option on OSN Play.