By Ashwin Noronha

28th September 2023, Mumbai: After an enthralling win against Northeast United FC, the boys from Mumbai take on a very interesting challenge against a strong Odisha FC side who are one of the favourites with the former Coach of the Islanders Sergio Lobera at the helm it’s going to be an interesting contest between the two.

Kalinga Stadium is going to witness a historic clash between the coaches who are both known for their sheer masterclass tactics, the way they man manage and most importantly the free-flowing brand of football that the play.

Des Buckingham comes against some of his former players in Mourtada Fall, Ahmed Jahouh & on loan from Mumbai Amey Ranawade, though Des has reaffirmed to not change the way they play but with master tactician Sergio Lobera everyone is hoping Des will definitely have a thing or two up his sleeve.

In his press conference Des focussed on how the team wants to build on from the past season along with some great performance against Highlanders & their AFC champions league fixture. Des also stressed upon the focus wouldn’t be only on his predecessor but also some key players like Jahouh, Diego who have been known to be master class in their own right. Also, Des confirmed on availability of a key player in Mehtab Singh, who had sustained a knock while scoring a disallowed goal

“Mehtab scored a legitimate goal from a corner and got kicked on his head and then the goal was disallowed. Mehtab is with us. He trained today with us, so we will see what it looks like,”

On the other hand, Lobera had stressed on how important the game is & how he rates his former team, which not only is the highlight of his career winning the precious double but how professional the philosophy of the Mumbai City FC’s management is as well. He stressed that the Odisha FC players have shown utmost professionalism and character after coming back from a heart-breaking defeat against Chennaiyan and then bouncing back with victory. Lobera stressed on the importance of offensive tactics which not only are significant to the team, but also laid that its far from what they expect to be. Focus also shifts to both sets of fans who are known to be a strength of their own right. Lobera on the other hand explained how he felt to play at the Kalinga.

“It is truly remarkable to witness the enthusiastic presence of our loyal fans in the stadium, rallying their support during our recent game. The experience of such unwavering support is truly invaluable to us, as it underscores the profound sense of unity and camaraderie within our team. We are profoundly grateful for our devoted fan base, and we strive to reciprocate their unwavering dedication with the utmost dedication and effort on the field.”

A historic game beckons all of us and between a side who has been rampant Mumbai City FC who have dominated teams whether Home or Away or would it be Kalinga warriors with their players who have changed their loyalties and led by a General who specializes in winning.

Catch the action at 20:00 IST hours on Jio Cinema, Jio TV and Sports 18


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