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ISL 2020-21: 5 duels that will decide the final

As we build up to the ISL final tonight, here are 5 individual battles that may very well decide the eventual outcome.

ISL final Mohun Bagan Mumbai City 5 battles

Roy Krishna will once again be up against Mourtada Fall (Source: ISL)


Sayan Chatterjee

Updated: 16 March 2021 8:59 AM GMT

Finally, the Indian Super League (ISL) final is finally upon us. ATK Mohun Bagan and Mumbai City will battle it out for ultimate glory at the Fatorda stadium in Goa later tonight even as thousands of Mariners and Islanders stay glued to their television sets watching the action unfold. In what is going to be a battle between arguably the two best sides this season, a number of individual duels may eventually decide the fate of the match. Here are five of those-

Roy Krishna vs Mourtada Fall

The Fijian has once again been fantastic for the Green and Maroons. Having scored 14 goals already this season, Krishna will be up against the wall that is Mourtada Fall. The Senegalese has four goals to show for his efforts this term and his physicality is something that not many strikers enjoy going up against. It will be interesting to see how he copes against Roy Krishna's pace though, something that might be the deciding factor in the game.

Bartholomew Ogbeche vs Sandesh Jhingan

The experienced Ogbeche has had an extremely illustrious ISL career so far but this is the first time that he is on the cusp of getting his hands on the trophy. While his previous spells with NorthEast United and Kerala Blasters were impactful, he would have probably enjoyed this season the most considering the quality of players around him. However, coming up trumps against his former Tuskers' colleague Sandesh Jhingan will be quite the task for the Nigerian, what with Jhingan's ability to get under the skin of strikers with his constant nibbling. Also, whether Ogbeche starts or is brought in later might be a factor in terms of his effectiveness against the Indian stopper.

Ahmed Jahouh vs Edu Garcia

The eccentric Jahouh is one of the men to watch out for in the final. While the Moroccan can split open the tightest of defences on his day, he also has a tendency to overcomplicate things near his own penalty area. Marshalling his progress from midfield will be ATK Mohun Bagan's captain Edu Garcia. The Spaniard is one of the most economical and tidy midfielders in the league and will be important for them in terms of circulating the ball quickly. Whoever comes up trumps in this duel will dictate the fate of the midfield battle.

Manvir Singh vs Mandar Rao

Manvir has been one of the most impressive Indian players this season. The Punjabi lad has cemented his place as a first-team player in the side and also earned his India call-up. He will be up against Mumbai's Mandar Rao, his former FC Goa teammate in what promises to be a battle between two of the most in-form Indian players in the league. Manvir's speed will be a good test for Mandar's defensive positioning with the Bagan forward comfortable with both feet. For fans of Indian football though, this duel will provide much food for thought.

Amrinder Singh vs Arindam Bhattacharja

Last but not the least is the battle between the two goalkeepers, both of whom have been immense this season. Both of them have 10 clean sheets each and are extremely dependable custodians in goal. While Amrinder might be slightly better with the ball at his feet, Arindam makes up for that with his shot-stopping. It will be a difficult task for the featuring attackers to get past either of these two and if the match eventually goes to penalties, it is anybody's guess who will emerge victorious. It will also be interesting to see if Sergio Lobera keeps Amrinder on in that case considering the fact that he preferred Phurba Lachenpa in the semifinal second leg.

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