Mumbai City FC have kept two clean sheets in their last three home games and have registered two victories as well.
A hard-fought 1-0 win over NorthEast United at home has firmly put Jorge Costa’s Mumbai City FC back in contention of making it to the playoffs of the Indian Super League. As things stand, the Islanders sit fourth in the tally with 23 points, while Chenniyin FC – on the back of their four consecutive wins – sit fifth with 21 points with a game still in hand.
Mumbai’s road to the playoffs – especially from this point on – isn’t a walk in the park, to say the least, as they face Jamshedpur FC, FC Goa and Chennaiyin FC in their final three games. For now, the team needs to concentrate more on the Jamshedpur game given that they have lost all of their last three away games. Their form, in fact, has deteriorated to an extent that they have only won one of their last five games.
For Mumbai though, an upsurge in form especially at home has been a blessing of late. They have not only won their last two home games, but have also kept clean sheets in both of them.
Will home form be a factor?
It took Mumbai City FC as many as three months to register their first win at home this season when they narrowly defeated Hyderabad FC back in December. Since then, they have won three of their last four fixtures, with the only defeat coming against a strong ATK unit.
Since their 4-2 loss to FC Goa in early November, Mumbai have played five games at the Mumbai Football Arena and have only conceded four goals, keeping two clean sheets during the tenure. As we speak of clean sheets, Costa’s men went without conceding against a strong Bengaluru FC side followed by resilient NorthEast unit.
Before this, they had only managed two clean sheets in their opening 12 games. Contrast!
Mumbai’s defence, in the last few games, has been a force to reckon with given the fact that Bengaluru and NorthEast United only managed 1 shot on target each. And a part reason for a stability as this is Costa’s tactical shift to a 4-2-3-1 approach from his usual 4-3-3.
Following a crushing 2-0 defeat against Odisha in early January, Costa moved to playing a 4-2-3-1 and since then, they have only conceded one goal. To put things in perspective, they conceded 21 goals in their first 12 games while playing in a 4-3-3 approach. Since their switch to the new formation, they have allowed 10 shots/match against them. Before that, opponents were averaging 13.33 shots/match against them.
Away form a worry for Jamshedpur:
Jamshedpur, who have won their last two encounters at Mumbai Football Arena, are without a win in their last three away games; all defeats. For a team that won two of their opening three away games of the season, this form remains a cause of concern.
JFC in away matches this season
Shot on Target
Goal Conversion Rate
First 3 matches
Last 3 matches
Feature image courtesy: Twitter / @MumbaiCityFC