After a short New Year break, the action in the Indian Super League (ISL) resumes as second-placed Mumbai City FC host Kerala Blasters on Saturday. Sergio Lobera’s side are at the top of their game and have dropped just 5 points so far. They come into this game on the back of a comfortable 2-0 victory over Hyderabad FC. That is probably the only thing that is common between the two sides at the moment since the Tuskers also won against the Nizams by the same margin in their last game. However, that victory came after a string of poor results for Kibu Vicuna’s side and they will be hoping to carry forward the momentum built in the last game to this one.
The Islanders have 16 points from 7 games and haven’t tasted defeat since their first match of the season against NorthEast United. On the other hand, Kerala have lost thrice and drawn thrice this term, conceding 11 along the way which is the joint second-most in the ISL till now. The two sides have previously met 12 times. Mumbai have won 4 while the Blasters have managed just 2 wins over the years. The remaining 6 have ended in a draw. With so much to play for in this particular fixture and with the attacking threat that both teams possess, it is difficult to imagine this one being a stalemate.
Mumbai City have been the most adaptable side in this season’s ISL. Lobera has played his brand of free-flowing football but they look equally efficient at the back. A big reason for that has been the partnership between Mourtada Fall and Hernan Santana. Mohamad Rakip has also been extremely dependable while Vignesh Dakshinamurthy has been solid in the absence of Mandar Rao.
Hugo Boumous should start this one along with the usual suspects Ahmed Jahouh and Rowllin Borges. The attacking midfielder last started against Chennaiyin FC more than three weeks ago and should be raring to go. You’d assume any one between Adam Le Fondre and Bart Ogbeche would feature but Lobera might spring a surprise there and start both. Bipin Singh, Raynier Fernandes and Cy Goddard are the potential candidates for the wide positions.
For the Blasters, Costa Nhamoinesu should come back into the eleven replacing Sandeep Singh at the back. Jordan Murray should retain his place following Gary Hooper’s poor form while Jeakson Singh, Rahul KP, Facundo Pereyra and Sahal Abdul Samad should all feature. Bakary Kone is still injured so Abdul Hakku, the goalscorer from last game should retain his place.
Predicted Lineups and Result
Mumbai City FC:
Amrinder Singh, Mohamad Rakip, Mourtada Fall, Hernan Santana, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy, Rowllin Borges, Ahmed Jahouh, Bipin Singh, Raynier Fernandes, Hugo Boumous, Adam le Fondre
Albino Gomes, Nishu Kumar, Costa Nhamoinesu, Abdul Hakku, Jessel Carneiro, Vicente Gomez, Facundo Pereyra, Jeakson Singh, Rahul KP, Sahal Abdul Samad, Jordan Murray
Mumbai City FC 3-1 Kerala Blasters
TV Channel and Livestream
The match will be telecast across Star Network’s sports and regional channels. The match can be streamed live on Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV. Kick-off is at 7:30 pm.