Indian Super League Mumbai City FC, co-owned by Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor, have had star players in their squad in the previous two seasons of the football league, but they could never manage to make it to the last four. They did dish out good performances, but all came at the death -- late enough to make it to the knockouts.
Will their fate remain the same in ISL 2016? That remains to be seen. The likes of Sony Norde and Sunil Chhetri have been retained by the Mumbai side in order to maintain the core of the team.
The Mumbai side signed some key foreign players this time around and it remains to be seen if they can find out that perfect combination. Of course, Diego Forlan remains the major name in the squad this time around and it would be sheer pleasure seeing him play alongside India talisman Chhetri.
However, above everything, it's the team combination and chemistry that matters the most. Take Leicester City for an example.
"You don't know what will happen in football even though you have the best team on paper," maintained Forlan in a recent press conference. "I have had that experience in many countries where I played. You play two games in a row and travel a lot. It's important to have a fit squad. In two months you play 14 games," the Uruguay legend added.
Let's look into certain key aspects of Atletico de Kolkata ahead of ISL 2016
Mumbai City FC travelled to Dubai and UAE this time around, for their preseason training. Here are the results from the practice games:
Al Ahli 1-2 Mumbai City FC
Al Wasl FC 1-1 Mumbai City FC
Dubai Cultural Sports Club 1-2 Mumbai City FC
Al Arabi FC 2-2 Mumbai City FC
Air India 0-6 Mumbai City FC
Coach - Alexandre Guimaraes (replaces Nicolas Anelka)
Diego Forlan, Sunil Chhetri, Sony Norde (forwards), Amrinder Singh (goalkeeper), Pronay Haldar, Matias Defederico (midfielders).
What to expect in ISL 2016
On paper, the Mumbai City FC side looks formidable when it comes to attack. However, the players have to remain injury free to maintain the perfect combination and the consistency.
Guimaraes has his work cut out to bring the best out of the team and if he manages to come out successful, expect Mumbai City FC to go all the way.
Remaining undefeated in the preseason says a lot about the team, but the main season turns out to be a complete different story in football and examples are everywhere.
"We are heading into the season a lot more prepared than in the past. The team has looked really good in the pre-season and Alexandre is doing some great stuff with the boys," said Mumbai City CEO Indranil Das Blah.
"We can see everyone put in that extra yard during practice, helping each other out, and there is a great unity within the team. We hope to carry the unbeaten pre-season spirit into the season and provide the fans with a successful ISL," he added.
October 3 - Against FC Pune city at Balewadi Stadium.