Mumbai FC train guns on Rangdajied United

Mumbai FC will return to I-League action after a long break as they host bottom-placed Rangdajied United FC for the first time ever in the Round-11 encounter at the Balewadi sports complex on Wednesday.

Going into the game after an extended break owing to no fixture scheduled in the previous round Mumbai FC will be hoping to secure their first home win of the season. The side has garnered seven points from nine games and currently occupy the 11th spot in the I-League table. Rangdajied United languish at the bottom of the chart with just four points from nine games. This scenario makes the game important for either side as a win would propel them up the standings.

After securing a last gasp draw against Bengaluru FC in the last home game, Mumbai FC went down 0-1 to Mohammedan SC in the previous round. However, the hosts would be eager to halt their win-less run at home this season and preparations seem to centered on a course correction, hoping to get a win under their belt after having time to recollect and analyse their previous performances.

Both sides have bolstered their squads by signing a few new players. Mumbai FC have brought in four new faces defenders Peter Costa and Khelemba Singh, along with former India internationals midfielder NP Pradeep and striker Mohammed Rafi.

After earning just one point from the last four home games, coach Khalid Jamil wants his team to bounce back to winning ways while also hoping the new players settle in quickly.

The encounter also sees two coaches who have worked at junior level in the Mumbai football scene come up against each other. Back in 2007-08, when Jamil was in charge of the Mumbai FC U-19s, his counterpart and Rangdajied United coach Santosh Kashyap was in charge of Mahindra United U-19s. The two coaches employ similar tactics and a lot will depend on how the teams gel together with the new signings. The entire team has been training in Pune with the only exception being winger Subhas Chakraborty, who suffered an injury during a practice session. Coach Jamil will however decide the final 18-man squad on Wednesday itself.

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