After two thrilling knockout games, the battle will take place in the semi-finals with Mumbai City FC, Hyderabad FC, ATK Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC looking to claim the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) title.

League Shield winners Mumbai City FC will take on Bengaluru FC in the first leg of the semi-final at the Mumbai Football Arena, in Mumbai, on Tuesday. The reverse leg will be held at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, in Bengaluru, on 12th March.

Mumbai City FC will be rejuvenated after a 16-day long break and will go into the tie as the firm favourites. The Islanders have been the most consistent side this season. They have broken multiple records along the way, besides having set a new Hero ISL record for the longest unbeaten run (18 games) and the longest winning streak (11 games).

But the task might not be that easy for Des Buckingham’s men in the semi-final as they take on a courageous and never-say-die Bengaluru FC side that has defied expectations and has made it to the final four with nine straight wins.

The Blues were the first side to hand Mumbai City FC a defeat this season, putting an end to their record 18-match unbeaten. They will be looking to cause yet another upset as they make a trip to Mumbai.

Hero ISL experts Erik Paartalu, Paul Masefield and Phil Brown got together once again as they predicted the outcome of the first-leg semi-final between Mumbai City FC and Bengaluru FC.

Erik Paartalu’s prediction: Mumbai City FC 2-0 Bengaluru FC

16 days is a long break for Mumbai City FC. But it may have been a blessing in disguise (for them) to get everyone back to full fitness.

I would expect the first half to be a bit cautious from both sides and possibly a tad rusty from Mumbai City FC with Bengaluru FC, the in-form team at the moment, maybe looking a little sharper.

In the second half, however, I think we will see some goals and it will be Mumbai City FC finally finishing off some of their good play deliveries from wingers Bipin (Singh) and (Lallianzuala) Chhangte.

Paul Masefield’s prediction: Mumbai City FC 1-1 Bengaluru FC

We’re in for an absolutely wonderful battle and a really good game of football. I do think Mumbai City FC will score because they do have that ability. (Jorge) Pereyra Diaz coming back into the starting lineup will definitely help them.

But I just think it's going to be very difficult for Mumbai City FC to break down the 3-4-3 (formation) that Bengaluru FC play. That does become a (back) five very quickly with Prabir Das and Roshan (Naorem) dropping into that back line. So space will be denied for Mumbai City FC.

They will be pushing and I think with the pace that Bengaluru FC have, they can hit them on the counter attack. That’s why I’m going with a 1-1 draw.

Phil Brown’s prediction: Mumbai City FC 3-1 Bengaluru FC

I think the consequence of Bengaluru FC’s 1-0 victory over Kerala Blasters FC in the last game will affect them in a negative way. What I mean by that is, mentally they'll be focused on the situation after the game instead of focusing on the challenge that lies forward.

Mumbai City FC, consequently, will fully exploit this situation and I believe they'll be out with their strongest team. I don't think we have seen Mumbai City FC's strongest team for a number of weeks now and possibly, February was the last time we've seen it.

If they have a fully fit Greg Stewart and a fully firing (Jorge) Pereyra Diaz, I believe Mumbai City FC will win this game 3-1.