Match 13 Preview: SC East Bengal eye first-ever win in Hero ISL against Mumbai City

After suffering a loss against rivals ATK Mohun Bagan in their debut Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) match, SC East Bengal will be hoping for a change in fortunes when they face Mumbai City FC at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Tuesday. The Kolkata giants succumbed to a 2-0 loss in their last game, while Mumbai City FC secured a late 1-0 victory against FC Goa in their previous fixture of the ongoing campaign.

Known for his attacking approach prior to joining the Islanders, Sergio Lobera will expect a lot more from his attackers. Mumbai City have only scored once this season, via a penalty in their last game against the Gaurs and although they have attempted 24 shots, only three of them have been on target with a low shot accuracy of 12.5%.

With two outright forwards, the Spanish head coach has a headache in deciding whether Adam le Fondre or Bartholomew Ogbeche starts on the bench. If Lobera chooses to play them alongside each other, the team might revert to a 4-4-2 formation that the Spaniard has very rarely used during his time in India.

Mumbai fans will also be expecting a lot more from their star signing Hugo Boumous, and although the attacking playmaker has created the most chances for the Islanders (12), he has taken just two shots so far and will need to have a bigger impact for his team to succeed.

Lobera’s men will be buoyed with the return of their midfield general Ahmed Jahouh, who missed their last game due to a suspension. The Moroccan midfielder was in the thick of the action in their opening game against NorthEast United FC and attempted 40 passes in 43 minutes before being sent off.

While speaking ahead of his side's clash against SC East Bengal, Lobera said, "Our plan is the same for East Bengal. We do not want to make the mistakes that we made in the last two games. I want possession on the ball. I want to create chances. It will not be easy to find spaces. We have to be good at transitions. It will not be an easy game."

As a matter of fact, both sides will look to keep possession of the ball through the game. While Mumbai have averaged 511 passes per match, SC East Bengal made 476 passes in their first game. The onus of making possession count for SC East Bengal, though, will lie with the likes of Anthony Pilkington and Matti Steinmann.

Pilkington made 21 passes in the attacking third and had an impressive passing accuracy of 81.25%. Steinmann attempted three tackles and two were successful, the highest by an SC East Bengal player. Steinmann’s three interceptions and eight recoveries were also the most by an SC East Bengal player.

Jeje Lalpekhlua might get a chance to start up front for SC East Bengal after an underwhelming showing by Balwant Singh in the previous game. While the Kolkata giants dominated possession against ATK Mohun Bagan, they only managed to hit the target with two of their 15 shots.

"The plan is to go out and score in every game. We are a team that can create chances and we have convert those chances into goals, once we begin building patterns in the way we play," SC East Bengal head coach Robbie Fowler said ahead of their game against Mumbai City FC.

Since SC East Bengal are the only side yet to have a point on board this season, they will be eager to kickstart their campaign against Mumbai City. The Islanders, meanwhile, will be keen to produce a more vibrant and fluent brand of football in keeping with the style expected of teams managed by Lobera.

Squad:

Mumbai City FC

Goalkeepers: Amrinder Singh, Nishit Shetty, Vikram Singh, Phurba Lachenpa

Defenders: Amey Ranawade, Valpuia, Mourtada Fall, Mehtab Singh, Mandar Rao Dessai, Tondonba Singh, Mohamad Rakip, Sarthak Golui

Midfielders: Ahmed Jahouh, Bidyananda Singh, Bipin Singh, Hernan Santana, Raynier Fernandes, Rowllin Borges, Sourav Das, Hugo Boumous, Cy Goddard, Asif Khan, Farukh Choudhary, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy, Vikram Partap Singh, Pranjal Bhumij

Forwards: Adam Le Fondre, Bartholomew Ogbeche

SC East Bengal

Goalkeepers: Debjit Majumder, Sankar Roy, Mirshad Michu, Rafique Ali

Defenders: Samad Mallick, Abhishek Ambekar, Daniel Fox, Scott Neville, Narayan Das, Mohamad Irshad, Gurtej Singh, N Rohen Singh, Lalramchullova, Rana Gharami, Anil Chawan

Midfielders: Sehnaj Singh, Matti Steinmann, Jacques Maghoma, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Wahengbam Luwang, Bikash Jairu, Yumnam Singh, Surchandra Singh, Loken Meitei, Mohammed Rafique, Aaron Amadi-Holloway, Anthony Pilkington, Milan Singh, Haobam Singh

Forwards: Balwant Singh, Jeje Lalpekhlua, CK Vineeth, Girik Khosla, Harmanpreet Singh

Live Broadcast Schedule:

Hero ISL 2020-21 Match 13: Mumbai City FC vs SC East Bengal

Date: December 1 (Tuesday)

Time: 7:30 PM onwards

Channels: Star Sports Network

Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV

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