Mumbai City host SC East Bengal in yet another exciting Indian Super League (ISL) encounter at the GMC Stadium on Tuesday. In a clash that is sure to throw up multiple talking points, we have picked out five players who might be at the centre of those. Read on to know who-
Mandar Rao Desai (Defender – Mumbai City FC)
The match against SC East Bengal is going to be a special occasion for Mandar as it is going to be his 100th appearance in the ISL. He would surely want to mark the occasion with another all-round defensive performance after seeing his team through to victory against 10-man FC Goa. Although he had a slightly slow start to the season, the 28-year-old picked up his game against the Gaurs and was a constant outlet for his team down the left. Sergio Lobera will again be depending on his experience to thwart the likes of Anthony Pilkington, Jeje Lalpekhlua and Jacques Maghoma.
"It will be a difficult game but we are ready for it!" 👊
— Mumbai City FC (@MumbaiCityFC) December 1, 2020
Anthony Pilkington (Winger – SC East Bengal)
Pilkington was the liveliest amongst East Bengal’s attackers in the first match. Drifting in from the left wing, the former Norwich attacking midfielder had the best chance early on in the first half when he failed to get his shot away after managing to go past a diving Pritam Kotal. Even then, he was at the heart of most good things that happened for his side in the attacking third. Once again, his partnership with Jacques Maghoma will be key for his side, who are still in search of their first goal in the ISL.
Jeje Lalpekhlua (Winger – SC East Bengal)
The diminutive winger must be itching to get back on to the field after a substantial layoff from action. At one point during the derby, it seemed as if he was getting ready to come on as a substitute but unfortunately for fans, head coach Robbie Fowler decided otherwise. The Mizo Sniper should be ready for the clash against Mumbai City though, and fans would be expecting to see flashes of his usual brilliance. Simply put, even if Jeje can give his all for just an hour out of the 90 minutes, it could make a huge impact on the eventual result of the match.
Ahmed Jahouh (Midfielder – Mumbai City FC)
The Moroccan was let off by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) with just a warning and a one-game ban after his reckless tackle on NorthEast United in the first gameweek saw him get the marching orders. In his absence, Sergio Lobera’s men managed to get the better out of FC Goa but only just. With him back in the heart of midfield, Mumbai City will be a completely different team. Especially his ability of pinging accurate long balls beyond the opposition defence, which SC East Bengal have to be careful about.
Matti Steinmann (Midfielder – SC East Bengal)
The former Hamburg man was the most impressive in the Red and Golds midfield against ATK Mohun Bagan. Calm and composed throughout, the 25-year-old had 81 touches of the ball, just behind teammate Daniel Fox who had 86. He had a passing accuracy of nearly 72% and was the chief instigator in creating his team’s attacking moves. He also made three tackles and clearances each apart from a couple of important blocks. Against Mumbai City, he will again have to be in the zone in order to provide the balance between attack and defence.