FC Pune City take on Mumbai City FC in the first Maharashtra derby of the second season of the Indian Super League at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune tonight.
Both teams go into the third game of the ISL this year with more than just earning bragging rights in sight. In the previous season of the football tournament, both teams bagged a win each over each other over the two legs.
The Mumbai side, who came in second-last in league last season, will look forward to building on the 5-0 victory they recorded over Pune last time, and the franchisee's instrumental attacking midfielder Andre Moritz feels his team has the calibre to eke out a win on the day.
"The game will be hard for us but we have the calibre to see it through. We have a very good squad, and a fruitful pre-season," Moritz said in the pre-match press conference. "It's Sunil Chhetri and Subrata Paul [both on national duty] who'll be missed, but we have good players to cover them in every position."
The Indian stars are due to miss some initial ISL games as they prepare for the national camp under Stephen Constantine. The Indian national team taken on Turkmenistan and Oman in two back-to-back 2018 FIFA World Cup Joint Qualification games.
For Pune, Indian stars Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Jackichand Singh, and Pritam Kotal will be missing the match. David Platt, coach, FC Pune City, has explained that although they will be without the key Indian players, the other Indians at the team's disposal can also do the trick.
"As a coach, I am impressed with the Indian players," Platt, who was an assistant to Roberto Mancini at Manchester City, said. "I wasn't expecting this and they have pleasantly surprised me. As a squad, we have very offensive-minded players.
"We would like to control the game [against Mumbai], and every other game as well," the Englishman added.
Meanwhile, Pune City FC midfielder Didier Zokora, who is fit to start the game, has said that he is looking forward to doing his best in the ISL, and wants to give a rich tribute to his deceased brother.
"I want to do well for my brother. He is my inspiration and he wanted to be a footballer like me. I want to do well for him," the highest-capped player of Ivory Coast, said.
FC Pune City - Apart from Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Jackichand Singh, and Pritam Kotal, who are in the national camp at the moment, Pune marquee player Adrian Mutu also remains doubtlful for the game today, as he has a minor fitness problem.
Mumbai City FC - East Bengal medio Lalrindika Ralte (ankle injury) has been replaced in the squad by Saran Singh, and Republic of Ireland defender Darren O'Dea is out of the game due to injury. Sunil Chhetri and Subrata Paul will also miss the game owing to national duties.
FC Pune City - Arindam Bhattacharya; Gurung, Diego Colotto, Roger Johnson, Dharmaraj Ravanan; Didier Zokora, James Bailey, Lenny; Tuncay Sanli, Manish, Yendrick Ruiz.
Mumbai City FC - Debjit Majumder; Ashutosh Mehta, Franz Bertin, Pavel Cmovs, Periera; Brandon Fernandes, Juan Aguilera, Andre Moritz, Sony Norde; Subhash, Nicholas Anelka.
Where to Watch Live
The Maharashtra derby: FC Pune City vs Mumbai City FC, kicks off at 7 pm IST (2.30 pm BST, 9.30 am ET)
Indian audience -- Star Sports 1, Star Sports HD1, Star Sports 2, Star Sports HD2, Star Sports 3, Star Sports HD3
Star Gold, Star Utsav (both Hindi)
Jalsha Movies (Bengali)
Jaya Max (Tamil)
Asianet Movies (Malayalam)
Suvarna TV (Kannada)
Audience in the United Kingdom can catch the game on Star Gold, while Eurosport remains the place for viewers to catch the game in Europe and South East Asia . Live streaming -- Eurosport Player.