Bengaluru vs Mumbai City: Preview and Prediction

Will Bengaluru be able to become the first side to defeat the Islanders this season?

The playoff picture of the 2022-23 Indian Super League season is getting clear as the caravan is heading toward the final phase of the league. It is going to be a doomsday night for Bengaluru and the table-toppers Mumbai City as one of them may not be able to extend their invincible streak further in this encounter. 

An action-packed contest of Matchday 19 between the two in-form ISL forces will be staged at the Blues’ fortress, Sree Kanteerava Stadium in the Karnataka capital this Wednesday.  

As the knockout round is nearing, Bengaluru is strengthening its contention for the championship by knocking down the heavyweights day in and day out. The Karnataka-based outfit is currently seated in the fifth position of the points table after scoring 18 out of 18 points in the previous six fixtures. Simon Grayson and the Blues are keen on taking this invincible run for further two games in order to finish inside the Top 4. 

The Islanders have made it official that they will stay on top of the table till the end of the 2022-23 ISL season after their thumping 5-3 victory over Goa on Saturday. They have already overtaken Jamshedpur’s tally of scoring the most league points (43) in a season and have a golden opportunity to take as far as 52. Des Buckingham has now shifted his focus toward the ISL Championship and aims to replicate their historic feat of becoming double champions.  

Current Form

The Karnataka Blues are cruising on a winning streak of six straight games and are yet to drop a single point in the year 2023 of the country’s top-flight football league. Bengaluru recently faced the arch-rivals Kerala Blasters in an away Southern Derby clash and returned to their home banking on all three points. It was the 32nd-minute stunning goal from the Marquee striker Roy Krishna which turned out to be the winning difference in a neck-to-neck battle. 

League Winners’ shield conquered and the playoffs are on the cards

League Winners’ shield conquered and the playoffs are on the cards

On the other hand, the Islanders have undisputedly maintained their position at the top having dropped points only on a single occasion in their last 12 fixtures. The Maharashtrian outfit clashed with Goa in the previous matchday and went on to register a thumping 5-3 win over the neighboring side. 

Jorge Pereyra Diaz (40′), Lallianzuala Chhangte (71′), and Vikram Pratap Singh (77′) bagged one each goal while the Scottish playmaker Greg Stewart netted both of his strikes through free-kicks.  

Head-to-Head Record

The Islanders are among only a few clubs in the current roster who have a dominant record against BFC having six triumphs over the Karnataka outfit to date. Bengaluru has managed to outscore the reigning ISL Shield champions only four times in 11 encounters in the Indian top-flight league. 

The initial phase of this rivalry was bossed by the Karnataka-based club however, the resurgence of Mumbai City has sent them on the back foot in the last couple of seasons. The double-champions of the 2020-21 season took the stage by storm when they shared the battlefield with Bengaluru earlier this season to emerge victorious at an ease. 

The home team successfully breached Gurpreet Singh Sandhu’s guard at Mumbai Football Arena four times while the visitors could not even open their account on the scoresheet. A thrashing outing at the hands of the Islanders haunted the Karnataka Blues who suffered their fourth consecutive defeat in the first six fixtures.  

Mumbai’s last visit to Sree Kanteerava Stadium for an ISL fixture was also a memorable one as the visitors ended up on the winning side in a high-scoring thriller. The Islanders’ commanding position was daunted by the 89th-minute penalty conversion of Sunil Chhetri who brought the scoreline level at 2-2. 

However, the final climax was yet to come as the star defensive midfielder Rowllin Borges netted the winning goal in the very next minute to disrupt the celebrations of West Block Blues. 

Team News

Bengaluru gaffer Simon Grayson is the kind of manager who always avoids unnecessary rotational changes to sustain further the positive momentum. Hence we can only expect a single change in the previous Bengaluru lineup marking the return of Suresh Wangjam who missed the match against Kerala Blasters owing to his one-match suspension. 

The Brazilian midfielder Bruno Ramires who was picked ahead of Pablo Perez in the starting eleven is expected to make way for the 22-year-old Manipuri defensive midfielder. 

The league leaders have already achieved the target of conquesting the League Winner’s Shield and may offer rest to a few starters ahead of the playoff battle. The priority for the Sky Blues’ boss Des Buckingham will be to protect his key players from injury threats in the forthcoming two league fixture. Hence we may see the likes of Alberto Noguera, Mourtada Fall, Rowllin Borges, and Mandar Rao Dessai paving their way back into the starting XI. 

Predicted Starting XIs

Bengaluru (3-5-2): Gurpreet Singh Sandhu; Alan Costa, Sandesh Jhingan, Parag Shrivas; Prabir Das, Suresh Wangjam, Rohit Kumar, Javi Hernandez, Naorem Roshan Singh; Sivashakthi Narayanan, Roy Krishna 

Mumbai City (4-2-3-1): Phurba Lachenpa; Sanjeev Stalin, Rostyn Griffiths, Mehtab Singh Sandhu, Mandar Rao Desai; Ahmed Jahouh, Rowllin Borges; Bipin Singh, Alberto Noguera, Bipin Singh; Jorge Pereyra Diaz 


As the history of this rivalry suggests, it is highly speculated that we will get to see another goal-scoring fest between two highly aggressive sides. Bengaluru is determined to sustain further their winning run owing to their ongoing battle with Odisha for the sixth playoff ticket. 

They are standing on the same page with the Islanders in the aspects of current form and on-paper strength however, the head-to-head advantage hands a slight edge to the Sky Blue outfitters.