Match 95 Preview: Mumbai City eye win over Bengaluru in light of ATK Mohun Bagan pressure
Mumbai City FC take on Bengaluru FC in Match 95 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Monday. A win for the Islanders will boost their chances of finishing on top of the league standings. Meanwhile, Bengaluru will need a win to keep their outside chance of a top-four finish alive.
A cause for concern for Sergio Lobera will be the Islanders’ defence though. They have not kept a clean sheet in their last four matches. Since beating SC East Bengal, Mumbai City have won just once, drawing twice and losing once. The Islanders had conceded only four goals in their first 12 matches of the season, but have gone on to concede seven in these last four matches. Three of these came in their draw against FC Goa in their last fixture, with the Gaurs grabbing a late goal to earn a point.
Their defence’s dip in form has allowed ATK Mohun Bagan to reduce the deficit on them to just one point, and the Mariners are in action before Mumbai City on Sunday. The Islanders will also be without Hugo Boumous, who received a red card at the end of the last match after scoring their first and assisting their third goal.
“We are in a very good position. It is always possible to improve and learn about our mistakes. I am very happy with the attitude of my players. Playing against Bengaluru is always very difficult. They are a very good team. They have very good players. We are in the most important moment of the season. We worked a lot to be here. We need to continue working in the same way. We need to be positive, knowing that the next game is going to be a very difficult game for us,” said Lobera ahead of the game.
The Blues suffered a 2-0 defeat to ATK Mohun Bagan in their last game and were unable to breach the Mariners’ defence. Playing against a side who have been leaky in recent times, Bengaluru will hope to make the most of their chances. Besides their goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu has been in good form recently. He has two clean sheets in their last three matches, and the two goals scored by the Mariners were from a penalty and a freekick.
“Mumbai City are a good team, and they will want to come out and win this game because they're playing for the AFC Champions League spot. The most important thing for us is not to concede goals. We're expecting Mumbai to come all out for this game. They are a top team, because they've qualified for the semis, but in terms of the AFC Champions League spot, they will want that and will come out for the win,” said Bengaluru interim head coach Naushad Moosa ahead of the game.
The Islanders beat the Blues 3-1 in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, which was also the last match with Carles Cuadrat at the helm. Since his departure, Bengaluru have won just once in eight games, and on Monday they will hope to stun the Islanders and register their fifth win of the season and keep themselves in the fray.
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
Midfielders: Ahmed Jahouh, Bidyananda Singh, Bipin Singh, Hernan Santana, Raynier Fernandes, Rowllin Borges, Hugo Boumous, Cy Goddard, Asif Khan, Jackichand Singh, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy, Vikram Partap Singh, Pranjal Bhumij
Forwards: Adam Le Fondre, Bartholomew Ogbeche
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, Emanuel Lalchhanchhuaha, Amay Morajkar, Harmanjot Khabra, Cleiton Silva, Xisco Hernandez
Forwards: Sunil Chhetri, Kristian Opseth, Ashique Kuruniyan, Udanta Singh, Edmund Lalrindika, Leon Augustin, Semboi Haokip, Naorem Singh
Live Broadcast Schedule:
Hero ISL 2020-21 Match 95: Mumbai City FC vs Bengaluru FC
Date: February 15 (Monday)
Time: 7:30 PM onwards
Channels: Star Sports Network
Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV