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Pune, Dec 4 – Indian Super League giants Mumbai City FC and Uzbekistan’s PFC Navbahor Namangan will nurture hopes of a completely different nature when they meet in their final game of Group D of the 2023-24 AFC Champions League at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi, on Monday.

While Navbahor will be determined to get full points since a victory will surely ensure them one of the three Round of 16 spots available for the second-placed teams from the West Zone, Mumbai City, on the other hand, will do their best to sign off with a win in what has been a difficult second season for them on the continental stage.

In the ongoing ISL season, Mumbai City FC have once again proved to be a major force as they currently stand unbeaten after three wins and two draws in five encounters. Unfortunately, they haven’t been able to showcase the same form in the AFC Champions League.

They are yet to log a point in Group D after losing five matches on the trot and will certainly be determined to go on a high in their concluding match in front of their home fans. All put together, it is set to be an interesting tie as the Uzbek side will very much be on their guard and will try to extract the maximum from the away match, the AIFF sources said.

Despite facing a situation where there are not much to look forward to at the end of the tunnel in this season’s AFC Champions League, Mumbai City FC have not lost heart to fight it out in the middle. Coach Anthony Fernandes, while addressing the media on Sunday, said his boys would be taking the pitch to take home the best possible result.

“We would like to finish our campaign on a positive note. Even in the last two training sessions, the positivity and eagerness to play this match are as high as it is in any other match. We need to get into that winning momentum going into the ISL games,” he said.

Lallianzuala Chhangte, a National Team star and one of the most important players in Mumbai City FC set-up, said, “I think it’s an important game, it will be a challenging game. We approach this game very seriously because we want to win this game.”

“Since the last few days, we have been doing everything possible to do well in this game and the preparation is well and the atmosphere in the team is very good and we are ready to give our best,” said the Islanders’ forward.

Mumbai City will welcome back Jorge Pereyra Diaz and Mehtab Singh, who return from suspension. PFC Navbahor will be without the services of defenders Filip Ivanović and Ibrokhim Yuldoshev because of suspensions.

The game will kick off at 9:30 pm IST and will be broadcast on Sports 18 and Fancode.

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