Bengaluru vs Mumbai City: Preview and Prediction
The Blues are three spots behind the Islanders in the Indian Super League table despite playing three more matches than Mumbai City and would be looking to find their mojo back against the managerless side.
The Islanders are in a deep muddle after failing to win even one of their six AFC Champions League fixtures and Des Buckingham was lured away by Oxford United in the midst of the season to put fuel to the fire.
The Mumbai-based side will be giving it their best to maintain their unbeaten record in the league so far and Anthony Fernandes has been handed the responsibility of bringing the Islanders back on track after the end of a horrendous continental campaign.
Bengaluru has been suffering from problems in the offense as well as defense since the start of the season. After eight matches in the ongoing season of the Indian Super League, the Blues have managed to record only a single victory, which came against East Bengal in the first week of October.
Bengaluru has managed to maintain a decent home record. In their last five fixtures at Sree Kanteerava Stadium, the Blues have suffered only a single loss, which came against Odisha winning and drawing two each of the remaining fixtures.
In their last three matches, Bengaluru have played three consecutive draws against the likes of NorthEast United, Hyderabad, and Punjab. Moreover, they are also on a five-match winless run in the league.
Wins over NorthEast United, Kerala Blasters, and Punjab supplemented by the draws against Odisha and Hyderabad have seen the Islanders collect 11 points in the bag to sit comfortably in the fifth position with a chance to climb even further in the league standings.
Mumbai City played their last ISL match against Punjab winning 2-1 win as Greg Stewart and Jorge Pereyra Diaz scored two goals for the Islanders in the second half. Playing five matches in the ongoing season.
Head to Head Record
Bengaluru and Mumbai City have locked horns against each other for a total of 20 times in the ISL.
Out of all the 14 fixtures, only one has ended as a draw, which took place in the 2018 edition of the star-studded league. The Islanders have dominated the recent meetings taking the overall head-to-head record to 7-6.
Talking about the last ISL meeting between the two sides, the fans still watch replays of the two legs of the semi-final fixture as Sunil Chhetri gave the Blues the lead in the first leg and Javi Hernandez doubled the advantage early in the second leg.
Goals from Bipin Singh and Mehtab Singh saw the Islanders take the match to penalties where the Blues prevailed courtesy of a miss from Mehtab after 17 perfect penalties.
Bengaluru forward Salam Johnson Singh is the only long-term absentee as Grayson’s team is expected to face the Islanders at full strength.
Yoell van Nieff will also be missing Mumbai City’s visit to Sree Kanteerava Stadium. The defensive midfielder was shown a red card during the Islanders’ victory over Kerala Blasters in October. It was later revealed that he had been suspended for three subsequent matches and his suspension will end after the Bengaluru fixture.
Bengaluru (3-5-2): Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Robin Yadav, Aleksandar Jovanovic, Shankar Sampingiraj; Roshan Naorem Singh Suresh Singh Wangjam, Javi Hernandez, Keziah Veendorp, Halicharan Narzary; Curtis Main, Sunil Chhetri
Mumbai City (4-3-3): Phurba Lachenpa, Rahul Bheke, Mehtab Singh, Tiri, Akash Mishra; Lalengmawia Ralte, Rostyn Griffiths, Greg Stewart; Vikram Partap Singh, Jorge Pereyra Diaz, Bipin Singh
The match will be played at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium and Sunil Chhetri’s men are known to be at their best with the home crowd signing in chorus behind them. It is being rumored that an Australian head coach is moving in the direction of Mumbai City and his eyes would certainly be locked on how the Islanders perform in such an intimidating atmosphere.