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Mohun Bagan vs Mumbai City FC: Three key battles that can decide ISL Playoffs final

Published at :May 2, 2024 at 4:49 PM
Modified at :May 2, 2024 at 4:50 PM
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The ISL final is expected to be full of breathtaking clashes between two teams with exceptional players

The final of the 2023-24 Indian Super League playoff is gearing up to be one of the most competitive matches in the history of the competition. Mohun Bagan SG, the reigning League Winners’ Shield holders, will face off against Mumbai City FC, the runners-up of the league stage. Both teams clashed during the league stage in a title-deciding fixture at the Salt Lake Stadium for the Shield.

Now, the Islanders and the Mariners are preparing to write another chapter in their rivalry in the final at the same venue on Saturday, 4 May 2024 for the ISL Trophy. This is the crunch time when individual brilliance can propel a side into becoming champions, and both outfits have plenty of figures that can emerge as heroes for their respective clubs.

As the 2023-24 Indian Super League final gets closer, here is a look at the three key battles whose outcome will define the fixture and play a huge role in the eventual outcome:

3. Joni Kauko vs Yoell van Nieff

Yoell Van Nieff ISL
Yoell Van Nieff will look to win the midfield battle (Courtesy: ISL)

Both Mohun Bagan SG and Mumbai City FC have exceptional midfielders among their ranks. However, their two most crucial players are Joni Kauko and Yoell van Nieff respectively. They bring a lot of quality and experience to the table and contribute immensely.

Joni Kauko was impressive for the Mariners across the two legs and Yoell van Nieff dominated the midfield, particularly in the second leg of the semi-final against FC Goa for the Islanders. Both foreigners are deeply loved by the fans and will be backing them to win the battle of the midfield.

2. Jason Cummings vs Tiri

Jason Cummings ISL
Jason Cummings scored a crucial goal in the second leg

Jason Cummings has a brilliant eye for goal and reads the attacking situation better than most strikers. He scored for the Mariners in the second leg against Odisha FC and has the habit of turning up in big games. Stopping him from scoring in the final will fall on Mumbai City FC’s Tiri.

The experienced centre-back has won the ISL Trophy once in the past and knows the demands of a high-stakes fixture like the final. He has been playing consistently well this season and played a key role in keeping a clean sheet in the second leg of the semi-final against the Gaurs. Whoever comes out on top in this battle will give their respective team a huge advantage in the upcoming final.

1. Subhasish Bose vs Lallianzuala Chhangte

Lallianzuala Chhangte ISL
Lallianzuala Chhangte played a key role in both semis (Courtesy: ISL)

The battle between Subhasish Bose and Lallianzuala Chhangte is going to be fierce. Both players are regulars in the Indian men’s national team and know each other’s gameplay deeply. This will make their duels a brilliant game of chess where both individuals will try to overcome the other to help their respective cause.

Lallianzuala Chhangte has amassed 10 goals and six assists in the 2023-24 season for Mumbai City FC, his joint best-ever goal returns in a term. The skipper of the Mariners, Bose, will have to be on his toes and prevent the MCFC winger from finding space in and around the penalty area.

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