ISL- Indian Super League

How Mumbai City FC could line up in ISL 2023-24

Atawaris WarsiAtawaris Warsi

September 24 2023

Mumbai City are one of the contenders for the ISL title this time too!

Mumbai City FC had an impressive 2022-23 season, making it to the semifinals of the ISL and clinching the ISL 2022-23 League Shield. They are set to kick off their 2023-24 Indian Super League campaign with an away match against NorthEast United FC at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium on September 24th, 2023.

The Islanders will also simultaneously participate in the AFC Champions League. Rahul Bheke has emphasized that player fitness hinges on the rest duration between ISL and Champions League matches. Given their remarkable performance in the previous ISL season and their robust squad, Mumbai City FC is determined to secure the ISL title this season.

Head coach Des Buckingham will have to make strategic selections for his squad to ensure that players maintain their fitness levels for crucial matches against formidable opponents like Bengaluru, Mohun Bagan Super Giants, and, notably, Al-Hilal in the AFC Champions League.

Here’s a possible lineup for Mumbai City FC in the 2023-24 ISL season:

GK – Phurba Lachenpa

Phurba Lachenpa’s goalkeeping display for the Islanders last season was exceptional. In 22 ISL appearances, he managed to make 64 saves, conceding only 23 times and achieving seven clean sheets – a performance that ranked him third in the league for clean sheets. Mumbai City FC will once again place their trust in him for the upcoming season.

RB – Rahul Bheke

Rahul Bheke, a Mumbai-native and one of the most experienced Indian footballers, has played a pivotal role in Mumbai City FC’s achievement as ISL League Shield winners last season. His presence at the back is expected to be instrumental once again.

CB – Rostyn Griffiths

Griffiths was an integral part of Mumbai City’s staunch defense, which allowed just 21 goals in 20 games and contributed to the Islanders having one of the league’s best defensive records. Des Buckingham will rely on Griffiths in the backline this season as well.

CB – Mehtab Singh

Since his arrival at Mumbai City FC in 2020, Mehtab Singh ,25, has consistently improved and established himself as a crucial part of the team’s defense. The former East Bengal player played a pivotal role in Des Buckingham’s squad, contributing significantly to their League Winners’ Shield triumph previous season.

LB – Akash Mishra

Akash Mishra has transformed into one of the top Indian fullbacks in the game. His addition to Mumbai City FC is significant as the team gets ready to compete in the 2023-24 AFC Champions League and aim to defend their ISL League Shield.

CDM – Vinit Rai

Central defensive midfielder Vinit Rai made his initial move from Odisha FC to Mumbai City FC in January 2022, and seamlessly adapted to Des Buckingham’s system. Mumbai City’s playing philosophy, which involves building from the back, perfectly complements Rai’s skill set.

He excels in distributing the ball up the field and facilitating play out to the wings. Additionally, Rai demonstrates equal proficiency in his defensive responsibilities, frequently intercepting the opposition’s attacks.

CM – Lalengmawia Ralte

Lalengmawia Ralte, commonly known as Apuia, is widely recognized as one of the premier box-to-box midfielders in the country. Renowned for his exceptional work rate, tenacity, ability to intercept passes, and precise passing, Apuia displayed a new dimension to his game in the last season. He ventured forward more often, showcasing his attacking prowess and managed to score three goals in the process.

CM – Greg Stewart

Creative midfielder Greg Stewart made the move to Mumbai City FC ahead of the 2022-23 season and carried on on his impressive performances from Jamshedpur. During this period, he contributed significantly by providing seven goals and eight assists, playing a pivotal role as the Islanders secured the League Shield in a dominant fashion.

Stewart was also a key figure in Des Buckingham’s team as they reached the quarterfinals of the Durand Cup in 2023, although were unfortunate to suffer a loss to Mohun Bagan Super Giants.

LW – Bipin Singh

Left winger Bipin Singh has been an instrumental player for the team. His partnership alongside Lallianzuala Chhangte and Jorge Pereyra Diaz has been exceptional. With an increase in games this season, Bipin Singh will have a key role in the squad.

RW – Lallianzuala Chhangte

Lallianzuala Chhangte has truly stood out as a remarkable player for Mumbai City FC. Chhangte delivered an impressive tally of ten goals for Mumbai City last season and contributed with six assists as well. After being loaned in from Chennaiyin FC in season 8, Chhangte has shown tremendous improvement and is a vital cog in Mumbai City FC’s setup.

He was also awarded the Indian Super League (ISL) golden ball award.

ST – Jorge Pereyra Diaz

The 32-year-old forward, Jorge Pereyra Diaz, played a crucial role in Mumbai City FC’s successful 2022-23 Indian Super League season, where the team clinched the Winners’ Shield. Díaz made significant contributions by scoring 12 goals and assisting in 10 across all competitions.

Notably, he shared the third-highest goal in the team with Greg Stewart and Lallianzuala Chhangte, highlighting their collective impact on the Islanders’ performance.

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