In yet another Maharashtra Derby of the Indian Super League, Mumbai City FC and FC Pune City will be clashing swords to gain bragging rights. Out of their four clashes in the Indian football tournament over two years, Pune have won two matches, Mumbai have won one, while one match has been a draw.
Their opening match of ISL 2016 takes place on Monday at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune.
Antonio Habas, the newly-appointed coach of the Pune side, is unavailable for the match as he is serving a suspension. A cloud of uncertainty also hovers over the participation on Momo Sissoko, their marquee player. Star midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh too is unavailable as he is currently on assignment with Bengaluru FC.
Nevertheless, the likes of Arata Izumi, Narayan Das, Jonatan Lucca and Edel Bete still remain the key players of the team and they can put together an impressive display for the home side in the match.
"Derby is a special game. As you said, it is the first game for us and we take it as a normal game and that we should just be able to perform up to our mark," said former Atletico de Kolkata midfielder Arata, ahead of the game. "Well, of course the team is our objective. But individually, of course I have my objective as well. So, I will try to achieve that for the team."
Jackichand Singh, meanwhile, is relishing the chance to play alongside the legendary Diego Forlan, for Mumbai City FC. Sunil Chhetri and Amrinder Singh might be absent, but even the likes of Sony Norde, Boithang Haokip, Ashutosh Mehta and Jackichand, himself are powerful enough to give their team the win.
"First of all, this is our first match. The first match is always very important and we will try our best to win," said Jackichand, who was with Pune last year. "Wherever you go, you have to give your 100 per cent for your team."
FC Pune vs Mumbai City is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. IST (2:30 p.m. BST) on October 3.
Where to watch live
India: TV - Star Sports 1/HD, Star Sports 2/HD, Star Sports 3/HD.
Star Gold, Star Utsav (Hindi).
Jalsha Movies (Bengali).
Asianet Movies (Malayalam).
Asianet Suvarna Plus (Kannada).
Live streaming - Hotstar.
Europe: TV - Star Gold.
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Bangladesh: TV - Channel 9
South-East Asia: TV - Eurosport