The Islanders look to set the record straight against the team who blanked them in both games last season…
Mumbai City boasted of a well-settled starting XI last season and that propelled them to the top of the table. But this time around the team look a shadow of their former selves.
If they want to have any chance of making the playoffs this season they need to sort out their midfield soon and also bolster their wing-play which was their highlight last campaign. What’s at stake here for Mumbai is being left behind in the early running for the playoffs and going to be bottom half scraps they were part of in the first two seasons.
Last season Mumbai failed to win a Single game without than star-man Diego Forlan and scoring goals continued to be a problem in the opening weekend defeat to Bengaluru FC. Thus, manager Alexandre Guimaraes needs his midfield to contribute with goals, particularly in the absence of striker Balwant Singh.
FC Goa, on the other hand had a brilliant showing in midfield and on the wings and will look to tear apart Mumbai’s defences just like they did at Chennai. Mandar Rao Desai was instrumental and will be the one to be excited about as he shined exceptionally during their outing at the Marina Arena.
FC Goa have a very young side, which to their advantage, work better when they have the momentum on their side. After a tough and hard fought victory away from they’ll now look to sweep the Islanders off their feet.
Goa is a football crazy state but has seen the numbers dwindling over the years. If the Gaurs are able to go back home with two away wins, it will surely be a crowd puller for the home game to come.
Interview with Mumbai City FC’s Goian
Mumbai City come in to their first home game on the back of a bruising defeat against the Blues and will look to return to their winning ways in their very first game at their very own fortress.
Although Mumbai City had found it difficult to replace their talismanic striker, Forlan, from last season, Achille Emana showed a few glimpses of sheer determination and strength while pushing forwards. Gerson Viera and Lucian Goian need to sort out their defensive partnership too as they seemed to be uncoordinated throughout the match.
Unfortunately, for the hosts, forward Balwant still continues to be out and defender Aiborlang Khongjee is still sidelined by injury with no news of a recovery timeframe as of now.
For the Goan team, Adrian Colunga, their striker is still sidelined and will likely miss the match but the rest of the team is fit as a fiddle and has led to Sergio Lobera having a selection headache. India international Pronay Halder did not have a chance to kick the ball and what has added to his problems is the excellent display put up by Brandon Fernandes and company in their first match. Apart from Laxmikant Kattimani there seems to be no weak link in the Goan side.
Goa have dominated Mumbai in the meetings between the two teams with Mumbai having only one win two draws and three losses against the Gaurs. Mumbai will look to add a win to improve this record and delight the fans.
Mandar Rao Dessai, Hero ISL 2017-18’s first Indian goal scorer
Man to Watch
Lucian Goian -Mumbai City FC: Goian has been the rock for Mumbai City and has been literally the immovable object for them. If he is to sturdy the defences like last season, Mumbai may stand a chance against the youth from Goa.
Mandar Rao Desai-FC Goa: Mandar Rao was exceptional in his wing play and also bagged a goal to add a cherry to his cake. He has been the most promising prospect from Goa ever since last season kicked off and would like to stun the Islanders with his excellent wing-play.
Did You Know?
- Mumbai City FC conceded only 8 goals last season.
- Lucian Goian ranked up 67 tackles which was the most by a defender in the entire season.
- In 2016 ISL, Goa won only 4 games in the whole season.
The match will be broadcast live on Star Sports 2 and Stars Sports 2 HD 7.45 pm onwards. It will be also available for live streaming on Hotstar and Jio TV.