Mumbai, Hyderabad go toe-to-toe in final Hero ISL match of 2019
Mumbai City FC host Hyderabad FC at the Mumbai Football Arena on Sunday in what will be the the final Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) matchup of 2019. Needless to say, both teams will be aiming for the maximum to end the year on a positive note. For the Islanders, even a draw will see them to leapfrog Jamshedpur FC and break into the top four heading into the new year. Phil Brown’s Hyderabad, who are currently at the bottom of the table, will hope to serve their own ambitions of giving their fans something to cheer about at the end of the year.
In the last few rounds, Jorge Costa’s Islanders have come into their own, picking up nine points from their last five outings whilst showcasing a refreshing style of football. Unlike other teams, Mumbai’s resurgence cannot be attributed to a single player, with every member of the side chipping in for the cause. The club has had 12 different goal-scorers so far this season – three more than any other side. Defenders have especially stepped up, contributing with four goals far – the joint-best tally this season along with FC Goa.
However, while everything has gone smoothly on the road for the team, their home form is worrying as they’re the only side yet to win a home match in the Hero ISL 2019-20. Defensively, Costa’s men have conceded nine times at the Mumbai Football Arena – the second-worst defensive record at home this season. Should they manage to find a way weed out their defensive lapses at home, the Islanders should be able to clinch all three points as their attack has been fairly consistent irrespective of the venue. The Islanders, however, will be without key midfielders – Paulo Machado and Rowllin Borges – in the match, making their task much harder.
Returning to action after more than a week’s break will surely help Brown’s charges get over the disappointment from their last encounter at home against ATK FC. Bobo’s two goals seemed to have won them the tie, but a costly error by Kamaljit Singh late in the game meant they could only take a point from the encounter. The mistake was the third significant error made by Brown’s men in the last four matches – something which they will be keen to avoid going forward.
Bobo’s form, meanwhile, will be the big positive for Hyderabad heading into Sunday’s match. The Brazilian has netted three times in the last two matches for Hyderabad and is the team’s leading scorer. His physicality and aerial ability will seriously test the Islanders, who have been vulnerable against set-pieces, especially at home. The striker is averaging 2.6 shots per match, which is the second highest among all Hyderabad players.
The big issue for Hyderabad lies at the back. They are the only team who are yet to keep a clean sheet this season and possess the worst defensive record in the league so far, having let in 19 goals in their nine games.
Mumbai City FC: Amrinder Singh (GK), Pratik Chaudhari, Mato Grgic, Subhasish Bose, Sarthak Golui, Surchandra Singh, Mohamed Larbi, Raynier Fernandes, Serge Kevyn, Amine Chermiti, Modou Sougou
Hyderabad FC: Kamaljit Singh (GK), Adil Khan, Matthew Kilgallon, Gurtej Singh, Nestor Jesus Benitez, Rohit Kumar, Nikhil Poojary, Asish Rai, Giles Barnes, Bobo, Marcelo Pereira
Did you know?
- Phil Brown is yet to keep a clean sheet since his appointment in the Hero ISL (15 matches). Hyderabad are the only team not to keep a clean sheet in Hero ISL 2019-20.
- Hyderabad are the only team who are yet to take a point from away matches this season.
- Mumbai City are the only team who are yet to win a home match in Hero ISL 2019-20.
Which head coach will come out on top?
- Jorge Costa
- Phil Brown
Live Broadcast Schedule:
Hero ISL 2019-20 Match 49: Mumbai City FC vs Hyderabad FC
Date: December 29 (Sunday)
Time: 7:30 PM onwards
Channels: Star Sports Network
Streaming: Hotstar and Jio TV