Mumbai City vs Goa: Preview and Prediction

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Mumbai City taking on Goa in ISL 2020-21

Reigning Indian Super League champions Mumbai City will start their title defense with a clash against the consistent Goa. 

A lot has changed since last season for the Islanders as their Spanish mastermind Sergio Lobera has departed alongside some of his trusted players in Adam Le Fondre and Hugo Boumous. Former Melbourne City assistant coach Des Buckingham has joined the club to fill Lobera’s boots.

Meanwhile, Goa is being dubbed as a title contender for this season, especially due to their recent run of form under manager Juan Ferrando. Under the leadership of the Spanish tactician, the Gaurs won the Durand Cup and will be a major force to be reckoned with throughout the season.

How have they done so far?

Mumbai City struggled to find form in their initial few years in the Indian Super League but was utterly dominant last season, where they did the double by winning both the shield and the ISL trophy for the first time in their history. The Islanders won 12 matches and amassed 40 points, beating ATK Mohun Bagan to the shield on goal difference.

Lobera did exceedingly well at inculcating his philosophy and style of play in only his first season at Mumbai City. In his absence, the Highlanders will hope Buckingham lives up to the expectations and sets up a team that justifies the tag of defending champions.

Meanwhile, Goa has been one of the most consistent outfits in this competition. They have been following the philosophy which was laid by Brazilian legend Zico and carried forward by Lobera before Juan Ferrando took over. The 40-year-old guided the Gaurs to a fourth position finish in ISL 2020-21, having won seven matches and accumulating 31 points.

Having won the prestigious Durand Cup in the preseason, Ferrando will be looking to encash on the momentum and get his team off to a flying start. The fans will be hoping that they can finally lay their hands on the elusive ISL trophy this year, having reached the finals twice.

Head to Head Record

Mumbai City and Goa have faced each other 18 times in the Indian Super League. In terms of head-to-head records, Goa holds a slight edge over the Islanders, with seven wins to Mumbai’s six. Five matches have not yielded a winner.

As for ISL 2020-21, the Islanders won the first match against Goa 1-0, where Adam Le Fondre scored the solitary goal from the spot. The second match was a more interesting affair, as it ended in a thrilling 3-3 draw. Both sides met again in the playoffs, where the Islanders trumped Goa on penalties after a 2-2 and a 0-0 draw. 

Team News

Partners-in-crime Igor Angulo and Brandon Fernandes are likely to be in action, but for different teams

Partners-in-crime Igor Angulo and Brandon Fernandes are likely to be in action, but for different teams

Mumbai City has parted ways with several star foreign players, which includes Le Fondre, Bartholomew Ogbeche, Hernan Santana and Boumous. To fill up the void, Buckingham has roped in last season’s leading goal-scorer Igor Angulo, who looks all set to start his Mumbai City tenure against his former employers. 

The Brazilian duo of Cassinho and Ygor Catatau is likely to play a crucial role for the Islanders in chance creation for Angulo. Among Indian signings, Apuia Ralte has been a trailblazer for the last couple of seasons and the Islanders have managed to beat almost every other ISL club to secure the midfield sensation’s signature.

Goa has retained its strong core and has only bolstered in areas that needed improvement. Airam Cabrera will be vested with the responsibility of scoring goals and leading the lines for the Gaurs replacing Spanish compatriot Angulo. Ferrando has also signed Dylan Fox from NorthEast United replacing the outgoing James Donachie. 

Predicted Starting Lineups

Mumbai City (4-3-3): Mohammad Nawaz; Amey Ranawade, Rahul Bheke, Mourtada Fall, Mandar Rao Dessai; Ahmed Jahouh, Rowlin Borges, Apuia Ralte; Gabriel Cassinho, Igor Angulo, Bipin Singh.

Goa (4-2-3-1): Dheeraj Singh; Seriton Fernandes, Ivan Gonzalez, Aiban Dohling, Saviour Gama; Glan Martins, Edu Bedia; Alexander Romario Jesuraj, Alberto Noguera, Brandon Fernandes; Airam Cabrera. 


A rivalry has grown between these two teams recently and it will only benefit the league. The Islanders have been the more dominant side of the two recently but consistency and tenacity are Goa’s forte. 

This game will be a battle of tactics, and given that there is not much to separate these sides on paper, we might have a closely-contested affair at our hands with 2-2 the most possible result.