Can Kerala Blasters FC halt the Mumbai City FC juggernaut? Hero ISL experts assess

Mumbai City FC have been outstanding this Hero Indian Super League (ISL) season and are the only unbeaten team in the league so far. 

They have scored 36 goals in the process and are on a record-equalling seven-match winning streak. The Islanders are playing football from another planet and have been on a record-breaking spree. 

On Sunday, when the Kerala Blasters FC come to town, they will have the chance to add yet another record to their name. A win against the Blasters will set a new record for the most consecutive wins in the league’s history. 

However, Des Buckingham’s side probably face their sternest test on home soil as they welcome a team that has come the closest to matching them, at least in terms of recent form. 

Ivan Vukomanovic and his players come to Mumbai on the back of an eight-match unbeaten run, winning seven of those matches. The Blasters have conceded just five goals in their last eight matches and are finding ways of breaching the opponent’s defence despite a more reserved approach as compared to the start of the season. 

The Blasters present the biggest threat to the Islanders’ unbeaten streak, and Hero ISL experts Erik Paartalu and Darren Caldeira look closely at where this game will be won and lost. 

Mumbai City FC’s bench strength gives them the edge: Erik Paartalu

We are hearing this theory a lot at the moment that Kerala Blasters FC could be the team to beat Mumbai City FC. 

So, what do we know so far? 

Both are on great unbeaten runs, and the last time the two sides met, Mumbai City FC were comfortable winners away from home. 

KBFC are a different beast right now. I’ll vouch for that. But, to knock this unbeaten Mumbai City side off at their home is another challenge. 

Mumbai have match winners at every position. If things don't go well or they do go well, Buckingham can make changes that sometimes make the eleven stronger. For example, bringing on the likes of Alberto Noguera or Rowllin Borges off the bench. I don't see any side being able to compete with their depth and ability to adapt and change when things aren't going their way. 

I will say for the Blasters, if they start fast, get in Mumbai's faces in the first 15 minutes and get a goal or two, that will give them a real chance to grab a win. Once the game settles and Mumbai start dictating play. It's only a matter of time. 

Solid Kerala Blasters FC have a chance against Mumbai City FC: Darren Caldeira

This game will be a fascinating battle between two sides who are in a rich vein of form right now. Kerala Blasters FC are one of the contenders that can stop Mumbai City FC and end that unbeaten run that the Islanders are currently on.

They are looking very solid defensively and are managing to keep a few clean sheets. Ivan Vukomanovic has got a back four that is very strong. Prabhsukhan Gill also looks very confident. We know the quality they have in midfield and upfront as well. With Ivan Kaliuzhnyi suspended, they tried Apostolos Giannou and Dimistrios Diamnatakos upfront, and they looked so solid. So it's a big call for Vukomanovic, whether he gets Kaliuzhnyi back and bench Giannou or continues with the winning combination. 

It will be a massive test for the Kerala Blasters FC defence against Mumbai City FC, who are free-flowing when they attack. There is so much movement, so much quality. You can have Greg Stewart having a quiet day because they have players like Ahmed Jahouh, Apuia, Jorge Pereyra Diaz, and Noguera who can punish any team. 

Kerala Blasters FC have already played Mumbai City FC once, and they know what to expect, so if they can keep it tight and close Mumbai City FC at the back, they do have a chance in this game. 

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