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ISL 2022-23: Rejuvenated Mumbai City FC look to continue dominance as they take on East Bengal FC

East Bengal FC find themselves six points off the final playoff spot as they take on a well-rested Mumbai City FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 on Friday.

football ISL 2022-23: Rejuvenated Mumbai City FC look to continue dominance as they take on East Bengal FC snt
First Published Dec 16, 2022, 8:00 AM IST

When East Bengal FC plays Mumbai City FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Friday, they are six points out of the final playoff berth. The Torch Bearers are yet to get off the mark at home this season, while their next opponents are the only unbeaten team in the league so far this season as they try to restore themselves at the top of the table.

Also read: ISL 2022-23: Odisha FC, ATK Mohun Bagan share spoils in season’s first goalless draw

East Bengal FC has played three home games so far this season, all of which they have lost. The season is about halfway through. The Torch Bearers have three goals to their credit while also giving up seven. Stephen Constantine's team lost 2-0 to Hyderabad FC in their most recent game, failing to score for the third time this year.

Although Cleiton Silva, a striker, had a sluggish start to the year, he is currently just two goals away from taking the tournament's top-scoring spot. The Brazilian has five goals in his first nine games, which he has played. If he sets up a goal against the Islanders, his teammate Naorem Singh might tie Greg Stewart of MCFC for the most assists.

"They have a good team and are playing well. We will fight like we fight with everybody. I don't think we have been outplayed or destroyed by any team in the league so far. We have been unfortunate and made some poor mistakes, and we have paid for those mistakes. Hopefully, we will continue to improve," said Constantine.

Mumbai City FC has the best away record in the league and is the only unbeaten team in the competition thus far. This season, the Islanders have won three of their four road games while only drawing their season-opening matchup with Hyderabad FC. Because they were idle last week, Des Buckingham's team is well rested.

Mumbai City FC defeated FC Goa easily in Matchweek 9 with a commanding 4-1 home victory. The club's top scorer, Jorge Diaz, has six goals in nine games. In the battle for the Golden Boot, the Argentine forward trails leader Abdenasser El Khayati by just one goal. Stewart is the leader in assists and is a key player in the middle and final thirds of the field.

Also read: ISL 2022-23: Mumbai City FC's Des Buckingham elated with team's 4-1 win over FC Goa

“Stephen Constantine is a good head coach with experience in India. He knows how to get the best out of his players, and he has done very well with the team so far,” said Buckingham. “In a challenging test, we will have to be at the top of our game, and play the football that we want to come away with the result that we want,” he added.

The two sides have met four times in the Hero ISL. The Islanders have won thrice, and one encounter has ended in a draw. They last met in the Durand Cup earlier this season, where East Bengal FC beat Mumbai City FC 4-3. 

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