Match 48 Preview: Bengaluru look to arrest slump against high-flying Mumbai City

After back-to-back defeats in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21, Bengaluru FC take on Mumbai City FC in Match 48 at the Fatorda Stadium on Tuesday. The Blues have lost their last two matches against ATK Mohun Bagan and Jamshedpur FC by a solitary goal and they will need to be at their best against the high-flying Islanders, who are unbeaten in their last seven matches.

Bengaluru have gotten the better of most teams in the Hero ISL but one side they have faltered against since their entry into the league is Mumbai City. The Islanders have won three of the six matches between both sides, including a double last season. Bengaluru, in fact, have failed to beat Mumbai City in the last two seasons with one draw and three losses to show for their efforts.

Sharing his thoughts ahead of the game, Bengaluru’s head coach Carles Cuadrat said, “We had some more time [to prepare] this week and we will try to fight for three points again. In the last two games, the team was trying to create some chances to score but unfortunately, we lost some dynamic. The good thing is we got some goals from other players. That means that the team is working to get goals from different players and is not dependent on a specific player.”

The task at hand for Cuadrat’s side on Tuesday is by no means easy keeping in mind the brilliant form of the Islanders this season. Unbeaten in seven matches after a loss to NorthEast United FC in their opening game of the season, Mumbai City have found the back of the net in all of their last seven matches, scoring 13 goals and conceding just twice. Their eight goals in the first half is the most by a team this season as well. 

The Islanders have only conceded once in the second half while seven of Bengaluru’s 11 goals have come in the second period of games. One positive that Bengaluru will take into the game will be Sergio Lobera’s record against the Blues. During his time with FC Goa, Lobera could only win once in the seven matches played against Bengaluru FC, with five losses and one draw in the other encounters. The Blues have also managed to score 14 goals against a side coached by Lobera in the Hero ISL.

Speaking ahead of Mumbai’s clash with Bengaluru, the Islanders’ head coach Lobera said, "Bengaluru is a very competitive and compact team. It will be difficult to find spaces in their half and we need to manage the situation because the next game will be different than the last two games. We need to put our focus on every game. We have to go game-by-game. We want to win. We don’t feel much pressure. We are enjoying our football and playing good football."

Mumbai City have a chance to reclaim the top spot in the standings with a win over Bengaluru FC but will need to be wary of a Blues side which has shown a propensity to bounce back from adversities in past seasons. Bengaluru have never lost three straight games in Hero ISL history and the Blues will hope to arrest their recent slump in form as they look to get their season back on track.

Squads:

Bengaluru FC

Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Lalthuammawia Ralte, Lara Sharma, Sharon

Defenders: Juanan, Rahul Bheke, Francisco Gonzalez, Ajith Kumar, Joe Zoherliana, Biswa Darjee, Namgyal Bhutia, Parag Srivas, Pratik Chaudhari, Wungngayam Muirang

Midfielders: Dimas Delgado, Erik Paartalu, Suresh Wangjam, Thoi Singh, Ajay Chhetri, Emanuel Lalchhanchhuaha, Amay Morajkar, Harmanjot Khabra, Cleiton Silva

Forwards: Sunil Chhetri, Kristian Opseth, Ashique Kuruniyan, Deshorn Brown, Udanta Singh, Edmund Lalrindika, Leon Augustin, Semboi Haokip, Naorem Singh

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 48: Bengaluru FC vs Mumbai City FC

Date: January 5 (Tuesday)

Time: 7:30 PM onwards

Channels: Star Sports Network

Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV

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