Mumbai host Kerala as both sides eye overcoming inconsistency

Mumbai City FC and Kerala Blasters FC will lock horns in Match 32 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 at the Mumbai Football Arena on Thursday. The Islanders and the Blasters are separated by just one point going into the fixture and both teams will be keen to secure maximum points.

Their respective campaigns got off to decent starts, but both outfits have lost their way slightly ever since and will be looking for a win. The Islanders will also have a slight psychological advantage having already beaten Kerala once this season.

Mumbai City FC

The west-coast club have looked more like themselves in the last two matches, producing some good attacking football and controlling proceedings in a dominant way at times. The return to fitness of Rowllin Borges and Modou Sougou has fuelled their revival, with the duo’s ability on the ball being greatly helpful to those around them.

Furthermore, Amine Chermiti, Paulo Machado and Serge Kevyn have looked fantastic in their last couple of matches, with opponents finding it difficult to combat the trio’s direct approach. Kerala’s expansive philosophy will open further doors for them to exploit and with injury concerns currently plaguing the Kochi-based club, Mumbai head coach, Jorge Costa will be counting on his attacking talents to make the most of their opportunities.

Mumbai’s defence, however, is still a major concern for Costa, who will be working hard on it given the potency of the Blasters’ attack. Sarthak Golui and Pratik Chaudhari have found it difficult when operating against physically powerful strikers and will need to sort that aspect of their game out before facing Kerala’s Bartholomew Ogbeche.

Kerala Blasters FC

Despite being a man and a goal up, the Blasters failed to collect three points in their last match at home against FC Goa. The win would have been invaluable to Eelco Schattorie’s men, who have now gone without a victory for five games. Injuries, however, have driven this disappointing run, with multiple foreigners currently unavailable and forcing Schattorie into a makeshift line-up.

A win, therefore, is exactly what the club and players need in order to lighten the mood inside the dressing room. The Mumbai fixture presents a decent opportunity for that, given the Islanders are themselves on a similar run of results.

The physicality of Ogbeche and Messi Bouli is a lethal weapon Schattorie can unleash against Mumbai’s young defence, which is susceptible to conceding goals. Jeakson Singh and Sergio Cidoncha, meanwhile, will have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders and will need to help both in attack and defence.

Probable line-ups:

Mumbai City FC: Amrinder Singh (GK), Pratik Chaudhari, Subhasish Bose, Sarthak Golui, Sauvik Chakrabarti, Rowllin Borges, Paulo Machado, Modou Sougou, Mohamed Larbi, Amine Chermiti, Diego Carlos

Kerala Blasters FC: TP Rehenesh (GK), Mohamad Rakip, Raju Gaikwad, Jessel Carneiro, Abdul Hakku, Jeakson Singh, Sergio Cidoncha, Rahul KP, Prasanth Karuthadathkuni, Messi Bouli, Bartholomew Ogbeche

Did you know?

  • Of the nine goals scored by Mumbai so far this season, only two have come in the first half.
  • Five of the seven goals scored by the Blasters so far have come in the second half.
  • Mumbai have scored two or more goals in each of their last four matches.

Fan Speak:

Which team will end their run of recent results and claim all three points?

Have your say in the comments below.

Live broadcast schedule:

Hero ISL 2019-20 Match 32: Mumbai City FC vs Kerala Blasters FC

Time: 7:30 PM onwards, December 5

Channels: Star Sports Network

Streaming: Hotstar and Jio TV

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