ISL 2023-24: Punjab FC hope to continue good form against Mumbai City

New Delhi, March 1 – With their chances of advancing to the playoffs still intact, Punjab FC (PFC) will hope to continue their good run of form as they face second-placed Mumbai City FC in Round 17 of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Saturday.

Punjab FC, who are currently 10th on the table with 17 points from 16 matches, have won three of their last four matches. They are in a good run of form and are just three points away from a playoff spot. They registered a comfortable 2-0 victory over Hyderabad FC in their last match while Mumbai City drew their last match 1-1 against FC Goa.

On the other hand, Mumbai City FC is going strong in their chase for the ISL league winners shield, the Islanders level on points with Odisha FC at the top of the table. Unbeaten in their last four games, with three wins and a draw, the Mumbai City FC side is high on confidence.

The Islanders are returning to the national capital after almost half a decade and the clash with Punjab FC will be crucial to keep themselves on track for retaining the League Shield that they won last season.

Speaking ahead of the game, PFC head coach Staikos Vergetis said, “We are playing a team who plays very good modern football tomorrow and we will have to work extra hard against them. Our previous matches against Mumbai in the ISL and Super were close, and we lost to a superior team despite a good performance. Saturday’s match will be very tough, and we hope that my players execute the plans well to bring out a positive result.”

Punjab had lost the reverse fixture against Mumbai City 2-1 after they conceded two late goals and a late goal cost them the match in the Kalinga Super Cup, losing the match 3-2.

Wilmar Jordan, Luka Majcen and Madih Talal have been in fine form combining well to spearhead the attack for the side. The pair of Luka and Wilmar Jordan have scored six and three goals respectively while Madih Talal has played the role of the creator with five assists and leads the league in chances created.

PFC goalkeeper Ravi Kumar during the pre–match press conference said, “All the goalkeepers in the side have a healthy competition amongst each other which makes us ready to play whenever required. The atmosphere in the dressing room is very good and the focus is to put in a good performance tomorrow.”

The month of March will be hectic for Mumbai City FC as they are scheduled to play three matches — including two away games, within 12 days.

Looking ahead, head coach Petr Kratky said, “We have the same approach as every other game, to go game after game. The team has worked hard in the training and has shown great courage in the recent games. The players are in good spirits and we are looking forward to the upcoming matches.”


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