Match 98 Preview: Mumbai City FC prepare to go all out against bottom-placed SC East Bengal with semi-finals in sight

Defending champions Mumbai City FC will eye nothing less than a win to get back into contention for a top-four finish when they face a bottom-placed SC East Bengal side in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the PJN Stadium, in Margao, on Tuesday evening.

Mumbai City FC have struggled to strike consistently in the later half of the season, after a good start in the league. They need to play the catch-up game with the higher placed teams and a win in the upcoming game will enhance their title aspirations.

On the other hand, SC East Bengal, already out of the league race, would be motivated to grab a few points and end the season on a high.

Form Guide 

Mumbai City FC - DDWWL

The Islanders have won two, lost once and shared the spoils in the remaining of their last five matches this season. The 2-3 loss against Jamshedpur FC in the previous match was a bitter pill to swallow for the Des Buckingham-led side and would be eager to bounce back from that.

SC East Bengal - LLDLL

The Red and Gold Brigade have lost four and drawn once in their last five matches this season. Despite giving a tough fight, SC East Bengal narrowly lost to Kerala Blasters FC in their previous game. The Kolkata-based side would be eager to bag a couple of wins and end the campaign on a high.

Head To Head

In the three head-to-head matches played between these two teams, Mumbai City FC have won twice and the other match ended in a goalless draw.

Team News

The Mumbai City FC camp is still waiting for the scan results of Ahmed Jahouh and would make the decision on him for the short-term. In the long-term, they have three league games, a potential semi-final in sight, and AFC Champions League. Other than him, everyone's fresh and ready to go.

Key Players

Mumbai City FC

Mourtada Fall: The defender has been rock solid in the defence for Mumbai City FC and there’s no doubt he will play a pivotal role in the upcoming matches as well. Apart from his duties at the back, the centre back is a decent scorer as well and is the highest scoring defender in the history of the Hero ISL, with 15 strikes.

Bipin Singh: The Indian winger has been impressive so far, but he’s capable of much more. In the 16 matches so far, Bipin has scored five goals and provided three assists so far. On the other hand, he has taken 25 shots on goal and proves to be a lethal player in front of the opposition box. For Mumbai City FC to earn three points, the winger needs to produce something special.

SC East Bengal

Antonio Perosevic: Having shown sparks of brilliance in the initial stages of the Hero ISL 2021-22, the suspension hampered the momentum he had generated. But Perosevic has been very active in the past few matches. The attacking footballer has scored three goals and provided one assist so far to go along with. Up against a heavyweight team like Mumbai City FC in the upcoming game, the onus would be on the Croatian midfielder to deliver the goods and walk away with a fruitful result.

Sourav Das: A few of the Indian players in the SC East Bengal squad have punched above their weight and Sourav Das is one of them. In the 15 matches played so far, the midfielder has registered 390 passes, which is the most by any player in the contingent. However, his priority in the game would be to maintain the fluidity in the midfield and also the supply of balls to the final third.

Key Stats

Mumbai City FC should be wary of set-pieces: SC East Bengal have relied on set-pieces throughout the season, which is evident from the fact that 70.1% of their strikes have come from dead ball situations.

SC East Bengal’s inability to keep the lead: The Red and Gold Brigade have dropped second most points from winning position (14). They have scored the first goal in a match seven times, but have won only once. They have drawn on four occasions and lost twice.

Bipin Singh’s milestone: The Indian footballer needs to score just two goals to equal Modou Sougou’s record of most goals for Mumbai City FC. The Senegalese striker holds the all-time record for the Islanders, with 12 goals.

Match timings and telecast details Match:

Match: Mumbai City FC vs SC East Bengal

Date: 22nd February 2022

Venue: PJN Stadium, Margao

Kick-off time: 7.30 pm

Telecast: Star Sports Network 

Online Streaming: Disney+Hotstar and JioTV.

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