Match 34 Preview: Mumbai City FC look to return to winning ways against in-form Hyderabad

Two in-form sides meet in Match 34 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 as Mumbai City FC take on Hyderabad FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Sunday. In what will be the first match of the day, the Islanders, who drew 1-1 with Jamshedpur FC in their previous game, will be tasked with breaking Hyderabad FC’s unbeaten run after Manual Marquez’s men did well to come back from behind and seal a win over SC East Bengal in their last encounter.

Winless against the Islanders with a loss and a draw in Hero ISL 2019-20, Hyderabad FC stand a chance to turn the tables in the ongoing season keeping in mind their strong form this season. However, Mumbai City are a formidable unit themselves and after losing their opening game to NorthEast United FC, they have been kind of invincible with four wins and one draw.

Hyderabad will need to stifle the creative presence of Hugo Boumous in order to ensure that Subrata Paul manages a clean sheet against his former club. The attacking playmaker missed the last match due to injury but should be fit to return against Hyderabad. Boumous has created 19 chances in the league this season, and also has the most assists (4).

Marquez’s main attacking threat Aridane Santana had a meritorious return from injury against SC East Bengal, scoring twice in less than a minute to help his side to a win. The Spaniard will need to continue this form against a defensively strong Mumbai who have conceded just three goals this season. With three goals and two assists against Mumbai last season, Marquez will hope that the striker can continue this form against the Islanders.

A cause for concern for Marquez, however, will be the slight dip in form of his defence. After clean sheets in their first two games of the season, Hyderabad have failed to keep a shutout, conceding four goals in their last three matches. Much of this can be attributed to their more emphasis on attacking but they will have to make some changes to their strategy and Odei Onaindia and Chinglensana Singh will have to be at their best against a dangerous Mumbai side.

“Mumbai City is the favourite team to win the regular season… Their team has a lot of quality and a top coach. They are good with the ball and good with set-pieces. This will be one of the more difficult games that we will be playing this season,” Marquez said ahead of the game.  

Mumbai City are also very deadly from set-pieces and have scored six goals from corners, free kicks and penalties so far, which is currently the highest in the league. Meanwhile, a dip in form for Bartholomew Ogbeche might see Adam le Fondre start ahead of his strike partner, and with four goals for the Islanders so far, the Englishman will be eager to get his name on the scoresheet again.

"…The injuries to (Hyderabad's) foreigners have given the Indian players more opportunities to play and they have shown a very good level. The performance of their Indian players is a good example when they have the opportunity to play. I enjoy watching their games and I'm sure it will be a very good game. Both teams like to play with the ball and attack with a very good philosophy. I think it's possible to enjoy the game for 90 minutes and hopefully, in the end we will get three points," said Mumbai head coach Sergio Lobera ahead of the game.

Squads:

Hyderabad FC

Goalkeepers: Lalbiakhlua Jongte, Laxmikant Kattimani, Manas Dubey, Subrata Paul

Defenders: Akash Mishra, Asish Rai, Chinglensana Singh, Dimple Bhagat, Kynsailang Khongsit, Nikhil Prabhu, Odei Onaindia, Sahil Panwar

Midfielders: Abhishek Halder, Adil Khan, Sahil Tavora, Halicharan Narzary, Hitesh Sharma, Joao Victor, Laldanmawia Ralte, Lluis Sastre, Mark Zothanpuia, Mohammed Yasir, Nikhil Poojary, Souvik Chakrabarti, Sweden Fernandes

Forwards: Aridane Santana, Fran Sandaza, Ishan Dey, Joel Chianese, Lalawmpuia, Liston Colaco, Rohit Danu

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 

Live Broadcast Schedule:

Hero ISL 2020-21 Match 34: Hyderabad FC vs Mumbai City FC

Date: December 20 (Sunday)

Time: 5:00 PM onwards

Channels: Star Sports Network

Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV

 

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