High-flying Mumbai City FC host desperate Bengaluru FC

The Hero Indian Super League (ISL)’s Matchweek 7 begins with two former champions - Mumbai City FC and Bengaluru FC - locking horns at the Mumbai Football Arena in Mumbai on Thursday. The Islanders are unbeaten in the league so far, while the Blues are sitting in ninth place, looking to avoid a fourth straight defeat this season.(Current Standings)

After scoring heavily in their 6-2 come-from-behind win over Chennaiyin FC in their last game, Mumbai City FC have now scored 16 goals in six games, the highest in the Hero ISL this season. Averaging 2.7 goals per match, the Islanders have also kept the ball better than any other team in the league this season with 2131 completed passes. MCFC head coach Des Buckingham was pleased with his side's determination in the last game, but he still finds room for improvement in the upcoming games.(Club Statistics)

“We want to achieve things this year and are aware that we cannot give away goals the way we did in the last game. Chennaiyin started better than we did in the last game. We did not start poorly; they were just better. But as soon as we scored, we were back in it, and I was happy with that performance,” said Buckingham. “We still have a lot of work to do, and if we want to be successful this year, then we need to make sure we come away with more results in the next couple of games,” he added.

Bengaluru FC are currently struggling in attack - the Blues have failed to score in three successive Hero ISL games for the first time in their history, and have only two goals on the board in five games. The last time they lost four games in a row was in the Hero ISL 2020-21 season. (League Standings)

In the goals scored per match chart, the Blues are placed tenth, averaging just 0.4 goals per match. The onus of being clinical in the final third will be on the shoulders of Roy Krishna and skipper Sunil Chhetri. (Club Statistics)

“Since the game on Friday, we have worked hard in training, trying to do some different things. Speaking of the Mumbai game, it’s all about what we have to do to win football matches again,” said Grayson. “We intend to tweak a few aspects that take us from being very close to winning games to actually winning games. The end product has been missing so far, so we need to be more clinical,” he added.

Only one out of the total ten Hero ISL encounters between these two sides has ended in a draw. The Islanders have nabbed five wins, while the Blues have been victorious on four occasions. In their last meeting, Bengaluru FC beat Mumbai City FC 2-1 to lift the Durand Cup.

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