Mumbai City FC v Chennaiyin FC: Things to expect and Dream 11 predictions from the ISL match
The Islanders will look to extend their lead at the top of the table when they face the Marina Machans.
Reigning Indian Super League (ISL) champions Mumbai City FC will lock horns with Chennaiyin FC in their next fixture. Des Buckingham's men are flying high at the moment after winning their last three matches. Bozidar Bandovic's men on the other hand are having a strong start to the season, remaining as the only undefeated side in the league.
The contest will be highly entertaining as both outfits play with different philosophies. There is a lot riding on the outcome of the match, as a positive result will give the respective team much needed momentum. Judging by the standards of football shown by these two teams, match number 30 at the PJN Stadium will be one not to miss.
Here are five things one can expect from the fixture between Mumbai City FC and Chennaiyin FC
Clash of the best defence with the best attack in the league
Mumbai City FC has scored 16 goals in the league within five matches, becoming the highest-scoring team. Their attack is lethal and the goals are coming from all corners. Players like Bipin Singh, Igor Angulo, Cassio Gabriel, Vikram Pratap Singh, and Ygor Catatau have all got on the scoresheet.
On the other hand is Chennaiyin FC, which has only conceded two goals in four matches. While their attacking display has not been impressive, their defensive performance has been praiseworthy. It will be interesting to see what the outcome is when the league's best attack comes up against the best defence.
End of Chennaiyin FC's undefeated run
Chennaiyin FC is the only team that has yet to taste defeat in the 2021-22 season of the ISL. However, their upcoming clash with MCFC will be the biggest challenge yet. The Islanders faced Jamshedpur FC in their previous clash and they were also undefeated till that game.
The 4-2 win ensured the ending of that undefeated streak and the same could certainly happen to the Marina Machans. If they are not careful, then MCFC and their attacking prowess could rip apart their defences and hand them their first defeat of season eight of the ISL.
A fourth consecutive win for Mumbai City FC
As aforementioned, MCFC is flying high. The outfit has won four of its five matches, including the last three. The three-match winning streak saw the reigning champions play exceptional football, cementing their authority over the competition.
The ISL shield holders will be the outright favourites to win their fourth consecutive game when they take the field with CFC. Bandovic's men need to pull out their best performance of the season if they are to end the winning streak of their upcoming opponents.
A first clash between the two tacticians
Des Buckingham and Bozidar Bandovic are both making their debuts in the Indian Super League this year. The former took over from Sergio Lobera who had guided MCFC to their maiden ISL crown and ISL shield win last year. He has impressed the fans and the neutrals with the aggressive pressing style and brave forward play.
As for the latter, he took over a side that grossly underperformed under Csaba Laszlo in the previous season. The Montenegrin head coach has a pragmatic approach with a particular focus on the defensive front. His initial impact on the team is very visible. The game will be the first occasion when the tacticians will compete against one another.
Midfield battle between Lalengmawia 'Apuia' Ralte and Anirudh Thapa
Mumbai City FC has Apuia in their ranks who won the ISL Emerging Player of the Season award for the 2020-21 campaign. He signed for the Islanders from NorthEast United for a record-breaking transfer fee and has impressed in the first few games for his new employers.
On the other hand is Anirudh Thapa, who is captaining the Chennaiyin FC squad. He is playing incredible football and is the hardest worker on the pitch by a mile. Being the skipper, the 23-year-old is leading by example. Both youngsters, who are the future of Indian football, will take the field and their battle will be a mouth-watering prospect.
Mumbai City FC (4-2-3-1): Mohd. Nawaz (GK); Amey Ranawade, Mourtada Fall, Rahul Bheke, Mandar Rao Dessai; Apuia, Ahmed Jahouh, Vikram Pratap, Cassio Gabriel, Bipin Singh; Igor Angulo.
Chennaiyin FC (4-1-4-1): Vishal Kaith (GK); Reagan Singh, Slavko Damjanovic, Narayan Das, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Ariel Borysiuk, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Vladimir Koman, Anirudh Thapa, Mirlan Murzaev, Rahim Ali.
The Indian Super League clash between Mumbai City FC vs Chennaiyin FC will be live on Star Sports Network from 7:30 IST onwards. Indian football fans can live stream the matches on Disney+ Hotstar.