Top-Tier football returns to Mumbai as 2nd placed Islanders host league leaders Bengaluru FC

Mumbai City FC and Bengaluru FC square-off in what promises to be an enthralling affair between the top two teams in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Mumbai Football Arena on Sunday.

The reverse fixture ended 1-1 last month where Mumbai went down to 10 but could have easily picked up three points, if not for their wastefulness upfront. Coach Jorge Costa was pleased that the ISL had a winter break and is raring to kick-start their campaign again.

“I am used to having the break and I like it. It was nice to spend some time thinking about our games. It was good for the players to get some rest physically and mentally. I know we were on a good run but I think the players and I took some rest and spent time with our families,” said the Portuguese coach.

The Islanders will miss the services of defender Joyner Lourenco who picked up an injury in their last game against Kerala Blasters. As cover, they have roped in Jamshedpur FC’s Sanjay Balmuchu on loan until the end of season. Jorge Costa will continue to rely on his foreign contingent in attack with Moudou Sougou, Rafael Bastos and Arnold Issoko forming an effective three-pronged attack. Sougou, in particular, has been in good form with nine goals so far.

Sehnaj Singh is available for selection after serving his one game suspension but it remains unlikely that Costa would be tempted into handing him a start. Instead, Raynier Fernandes and Milan Singh are touted to continue to share the midfield load alongside the impressive Paulo Machado.

Mumbai are second on the table, with 24 points from 12 games. However, five of Islanders’ next six games are against direct rivals for the play-off spots and slip-ups could be costly. Costa will be well aware of the fact and would have ensured his side are well-drilled and primed for the challenge.

Also Read: The impact of the Asian cup will be huge for Indian football, states Gurpreet Sandhu

Meanwhile, Bengaluru FC are still the team to beat in the ISL. The Blues have been unbeaten for 11 matches and would look to extend that run.

“It’s nice to have this unbeaten run going, but the key aim is to book a place in the play-off stages as soon as we can. Whether the long break will affect our momentum or not, only time will tell. But we have been working hard and hope to keep the run going for as long as we can,” said coach Carles Cuadrat.

The good news is that star striker Miku has returned to fitness which would add more teeth to their firepower. However, Nishu Kumar is still recovering and may not be available for the tie. They have the meanest defence in the league with a mere eight goals leaked in which would certainly pose a challenge for the famed Mumbai attack.

However, Mumbai are only one of the three teams who haven’t been defeated by Carles Cuadrat’s Bengaluru this term. Albert Serran and Juanan have formed an effective partnership but the key for Bengaluru will be Dimas Delgado’s play-making skill from the centre of the park.

This promises to be a well-fought battle between two of the best teams in the league.

-Courtesy ISL media

Also Read: Edu Garcia stars with goal on debut as ATK-Blasters clash end in stalemate
Follow Football Counter on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the latest happenings in the world of Indian football.

MDFA 1st Division side Madanpura Sports Club soon to host trials

With football gradually returning, Mumbai based Madanpura Sports Club are slated to conduct trials for the upcoming season. Madanpura Sports Club is the Junior team of Bombay Muslims SC, who…

Share

Feugo Tormento FC to host trials for MDFA 1st Division

Newly promoted Feugo Tormento FC are set to revamp their squad for the 2020-21 MDFA 1st Division tournament. After a rampant past season, Feugo Tormento was promoted to the 1st…

Share

Regal FC trials postponed to April

Mumbai based MDFA 3rd Division side Regal FC has postponed their upcoming trials to a new tentative date in April, amidst the Corona Virus outbreak Regal football Club had earlier announced…

Share

Mumbai Marines FC to hold trials for MDFA 1st Division

Newly promoted side Mumbai Marines FC are on the lookout for players for the upcoming season of the MDFA 1st Division, the club announced. After a successful MDFA 2nd Division…

Share

Regal FC to conduct trials for 3rd Division campaign

Mumbai based MDFA 3rd Division side Regal FC will be conducting a two day football trials for city footballers for their upcoming season Regal football Club has announced that they…

Share

GKW Rangers FC to conduct YPL U14 and 3rd Division trials

Mumbai based GKW Rangers FC will conduct trials for its MDFA 3rd division side as well as its U14 age group team that competes in MDFA Yuva Premier League U14….

Share

Rhino Sports Academy to conduct trials on March 15th

Mumbai based Rhino Sports Academy will be conducting trials for its upcoming seasons of MDFA 1st Division and MDFA 3rd Division Rhino Sports Academy will be fielding a side each…

Share

OSCAR SSE to conduct age group trials for its 2020-21 Season Elite Program

OSCAR SSE, a 2 star AIFF Accredited Academy, will be conducting age group trials (U13, U15 and U18 players) to induct in its Elite Program for 2020-21 season All the…

Share

Sterling FA to conduct 2nd round of trials for MDFA 1st division team

Mumbai First Division side Sterling Football Academy will be conducting their 2nd round of trials for their MDFA 1st Division campaign this Saturday 29nd Feb Sterling Football Academy will be…

Share

Sterling FA to conduct trials for MDFA 1st division team

Mumbai First Division side Sterling Football Academy will be conducting trials for their MDFA 1st Division campaign this Saturday 22nd Feb Sterling Football Academy will be fielding a team in…

Share