Mumbai started on the winning side in the first round, beating Air India by 2:1. The win didn't came easy, though, as the guests took the lead in the 63th minute before fast two goals from Ezeh and Rodrigues gave 3 points to MFC. Star player - Abhishek Yadav, remains in the team for this season, as well, so we have to bear something in mind when we hear Mumbai. Mumbai teams (MFC, ONGC and Air India) will play in Kolhpaur this season, which means that they won't have home advantage. We may expect 4-5-1 from the hosts today, with no changes made after the first round.
Pune are one of the solid teams in India, gaining this reputation quickly after being founded in 2007. "The Red Lizards" finished 3rd last season, a point behind 2nd placed Churchill Brothers. Edmar Figueira and Arata Izumi were the most prominent players from the last term and they are still with the team this season. The squad was boosted in the pre-season, as former Mahindra United players Nair, Tamba and Shivalkar arrived, together with Guinean striker Keita Mandjou (Salgaocar), Indian defender Kamaljeet Kumar (Mumbai) and some other local players.
With Pune being very ambitious towards this season and Mumbai playing on neutral ground, I will mark the visitors as the favorites here. The clash between Mumbai and Pune is billed "Battle Of Two Cities" and it will surely put some fuel before the game. Edmar and Mandjou are good strikers, while Japanese midfielder Arata Izumi is able to pose threat from the rear.
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