Dogged Mumbai FC aim to halt Bengaluru’s march

Mumbai FC will look to be a thorn in Bengaluru FC’s flesh once again when the two sides meet in a highly anticipated clash at Cooperage on Wednesday evening. Ashley Westwood’s Bengaluru FC have hit the ground running in the 2016 I-League, but in their path lie Mumbai FC, a team whom they have failed to overcome in the four meetings between the clubs. But home advantage and an improved squad means the hosts Mumbai FC would look to better their four draws against Bengaluru FC and seek a win.
Kick-off Time, Venue, Live Telecast Information
Kick-off Time – 7 PM IST
Venue – Cooperage Stadium, Mumbai
Live Telecast – Ten Action Plus
Form Guide
The form guide of the two teams makes fairly similar reading and it just justifies the results the two clubs have had against each other. Mumbai FC are unbeaten in 10 I-League encounters and have won three out of their last five game in the I-League.
Bengaluru have had a longer unbeaten than Mumbai FC that stretches back to February 2015 when they came unstuck against Mohun Bagan in Kolkata. Since then Ashley Westwood’s men have gone 15 games without a defeat in the top flight. Bengaluru FC have a hundred per cent record in the I-League so far this season with wins in all the three games that have been played so far.
The form points to a very tight encounter which will need something special from some of the top players involved to win it for their respective teams. But home advantage could play a part as the artificial turf and the vocal home support could spur Mumbai FC to special performance on the night.
Team News
Mumbai FC will have Steven Dias available for selection once again after the winger sat out Sunday’s win over Salgaocar with an injury. But Head Coach Khalid Jamil confirmed that the player has overcome his injury problem to be in good shape ahead of the game. With three different line-ups in the three games so far, it will be interesting to see how Khalid Jamil’s sets up his side against the in-form Bengaluru FC. But there is little doubt that Mumbai FC would be playing for a draw with the team they have got and Khalid Jamil would field a team that would be capable of beating Bengaluru FC.
Bengaluru FC Head Coach Ashley Westwood would be keen to keep the winning combination going and spoke about his options in the attacking area ahead of the game.
It is expected that Bengaluru would stick with C.K. Vineeth and Kim Sing Yong upfront, but with the plethora of options at Westwood’s disposal a change wouldn’t be a surprise too.
Key Battles
Taisuke Matsugae vs Eugenson Lyngdoh
Taisuke once again showed how important he is to Mumbai FC. The Japanese scored a twenty five yard scorcher to hand Mumbai FC the lead in the first half, before putting in a shift in the second to ensure Mumbai FC get the full points from the game.
Eugenson Lyngdoh has grown in stature at Bengaluru FC and scored in the corresponding fixture last season. Lyngdoh will be a big threat to the Mumbai FC defence thanks to his eye for a pass, but will have to be very of Taisuke’s forward runs. Lyngdoh will need to escape from Taisuke’s tight marking and dictate the play of the game.
This midfield duel could prove to be pivotal as to which team controls a game better and if anyone of the two players can get one over the other, they will pretty much win their side the game.
Kim-Seng Yong vs Min Chol Son
The battle of the two Japanese born North Koreans will be the one to look forward to in tomorrow’s game. Kim announced his arrival in the I-League in style after he netted a brace against Shillong Lajong on Sunday. The big center forward has formed a good partnership with Vineeth who likes to feed on Kim’s flick-ons and bring downs.
Min Chol Son has been a rock in the Mumbai FC defence and has had a great start to his Mumbai FC career. Son will be tasked with nullifying Kim’s aerial threat and get him out of the game. Son will also have to be wary of Kim’s eye for the goal and never give him an inch.
This duel between the two in-form North Koreans might just decide the game eventually.
Prediction
Mumbai FC 1-1 Bengaluru FC
The series of draws between the two teams look set to continue when Mumbai FC and Bengaluru FC clash on Sunday. With both sides in good form and difficult to beat, a share of the spoils seems to be on the cards. Both teams are too good not to score and hence a score draw.

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