Match 71 Preview: Mumbai City look to continue unbeaten run against Chennaiyin

Mumbai City FC will be looking to extend their unbeaten run in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 to 12 games when they face Chennaiyin FC at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Monday. The Islanders find themselves sitting comfortable at the top of the league and will be aiming to do the double over the Marina Machans having beaten them 2-1 earlier in the campaign.

The head-to-head between the teams though suggests that we could be in for a close contest. The two sides have squared off 13 times with Chennaiyin winning six times and Mumbai City emerging triumphant on five occasions.

However, Sergio Lobera’s men will back themselves to get the job done against a Chennaiyin outfit that’s struggled to find the back of the net this season. Unbeaten in their last 11 games with nine wins during that incredible run, a victory or draw will see the Islanders equal FC Goa’s record unbeaten streak of 12 games in the Hero ISL.

Mumbai City have been on top of their game on both ends of the pitch this season. A free-scoring team that’s netted 18 times in Hero ISL 2020-21, the Islanders boast the best defence in the league having conceded only four goals in the ongoing campaign. Their eight clean sheets in Hero ISL 2020-21 is the joint-best in the league and you can rest assured that Chennaiyin will find it difficult to break down the Islanders.

"We are happy with our position on the table and our results but it's always possible to improve. For example, the last game [vs SC East Bengal], especially in the second half. It's very important for us not to think about the past and we need to know that the most important game for us is the next game," said Lobera ahead of the game.

Meanwhile, Chennaiyin will go into the clash with Mumbai City following a last-minute loss against ATK Mohun Bagan in their previous outing. The Marina Machans though are still within touching distance of the top four places and need a few wins to get into semis contention. That said, wins have proven difficult to come by for Chennaiyin.

The two-time champions have won just three games all season and have struggled to score goals. Chennaiyin have failed to score in seven matches and are the lowest scorers in the league with 10 strikes so far. They need their midfielders and attackers to step up in the final third if they want to get into decent positions but need to improve their final ball and finishing or risk being cast adrift in the race for the semi-finals.

Csaba Laszlo’s men, however, need to be switched on throughout the 90 minutes and especially during the second half. Their last-minute loss against the Mariners in their last game was a familiar tale that’s plagued them this campaign. The Marina Machans, in fact, have been disappointing in the second half of games. They’ve scored thrice and conceded 13 goals after the restart – a record they must try to better soon.   

"It's not nice to lose a game and especially in the last minute. Also, in the last 10-15 minutes, they [ATK Mohun Bagan] were dominating the game. The spirit of the players at this moment is very down but we have to fight back against Mumbai City which will also be a difficult game,” Laszlo said ahead of the game.

Squads:

Chennaiyin FC

Goalkeepers: Revanth BY, Vishal Kaith, Karanjit Singh, Samik Mitra

Defenders: Lalchhuanmawia Fanai, Enes Sipovic, Reagan Singh, Eli Sabia, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Remi, Balaji Ganesan, Aqib Nawab, Deepak Tangri

Midfielders: Fatkhulo Fatkhuloev, Thoi Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Memo Moura, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Abhijit Sarkar, Pandiyan Sinivasan, Germanpreet Singh, Dhanpal Ganesh, Edwin Vanspaul, Manuel Lanzarote

Forwards: Jakub Sylvestr, Aman Chetri, Rahim Ali, Esmael Goncalves

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, Jackichand Singh, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy, Vikram Partap Singh, Pranjal Bhumij

Forwards: Adam Le Fondre, Bartholomew Ogbeche

Live Broadcast Schedule:

Hero ISL 2020-21 Match 71: Chennaiyin FC vs Mumbai City FC

Date: January 25 (Monday)

Time: 7:30 PM onwards

Channels: Star Sports Network

Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV

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