Match 60 Preview: Table-topping Mumbai City square off against confident Hyderabad FC

Mumbai City FC will be looking to extend their lead at the top of the 2020-21 Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) standings with a win over Hyderabad FC at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Saturday. The Islanders have a five-point advantage at the top of the table and will be looking to get further away from the chasing pack with another win against Hyderabad – a side that they have already beaten once this season.

The Islanders, in fact, have never lost a game against Hyderabad in three encounters, which has seen them win twice and draw once. They will be confident about securing another win as they look to build on the momentum that’s seen them unbeaten in their last nine matches.

With eight different goal-scorers in the team, Mumbai City have shown that they aren’t reliant on any particular individual to find the back of the net. They are the leading scorers in the league with 17 goals and have also conceded the joint-least goals (4) this season. Their last match against ATK Mohun Bagan saw them become the first team to score against Antonio Lopez Habas’ men from open play.

Sergio Lobera’s men have found the back of the net in each of their last nine games and they tend to start games strongly having taken the lead seven times this campaign and emerging as victors in all of them. As many as 10 of Mumbai City’s 17 goals have come in the first half and you can rest assured that Lobera will want his players to start similarly when they face Hyderabad.

"I'm sure it's going to be a good game. They play a similar style. They have very good Indian players and also very experienced foreign players. It's going to be a different game [from the one earlier in the season] because they have a full squad now. But the most important thing for us is to focus on our style of play, and to keep possession of the ball will be very important for us," Lobera said ahead of the game.

Meanwhile, Hyderabad will go into the match against Mumbai City in a confident frame of mind themselves. Like the Islanders, Hyderabad don’t seem to have many difficulties when it comes to finding the back of the net having scored 15 times in 10 matches so far. Their last two outings saw them register 4-1 and 4-2 wins against Chennaiyin FC and NorthEast United FC respectively.

However, they need to be more compact at the back and pick up more clean sheets if they want to qualify for the semi-finals. Hyderabad have conceded 13 times so far even though they’ve faced 98 shots – the least in the league.

They must also aim to start games well like Mumbai City instead of relying on second half heroics. Manuel Marquez’s men have scored 12 of their 15 goals in the second period, which is the most in the league. That said, if they aren’t sharp off the blocks against the Islanders, Hyderabad could get punished and will find it hard to come back into the contest against a Mumbai City side that doesn’t concede many goals. 

"…They [Mumbai City] have very good players and a very good coach. I continue saying that they will be the champions in the regular season because you know in the semis, not always the best team wins,” Marquez said ahead of the game.  

Squads:

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

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, Roland Alberg

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

Live Broadcast Schedule:

Hero ISL 2020-21 Match 60: Mumbai FC vs Hyderabad FC

Date: January 16 (Saturday)

Time: 7:30 PM onwards

Channels: Star Sports Network

Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV

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