Both teams have had had a patchy start to the season so far.
Mumbai City FC and FC Goa have both endured rather strange starts to their season and have secured only a single victory in their three matches so far. However, unlike Goa, Mumbai have been defeated once as well and quite embarrassingly at that in their first home game of the season against Odisha FC.
On paper, only a single point separates the two teams, but Sergio Lobera’s Goa side emanates a sense of confidence that would make even the staunchest of Mumbai City followers rather apprehensive regarding their chances of trumping the visitors tomorrow.
Right now, Mumbai City might be the more eager of the two to bag a victory. After a rather convincing win against Kerala Blasters early on, it has been a rocky ride for them, which was made more difficult by Josep Gombau’s men last week. Goa would present a whole different challenge for Jorge Costa, who is already short of options with several crucial players including Rowlin Borges injured.
It would be important for the coach to get the home fans by his side with a win in this match, or at least present a striking challenge to Goa. The next encounter to be played in Mumbai would be almost a month down the line and hence, to maintain a positive overall mood among the West Coast Brigade, it would be integral that the team turns up with a much better performance on the night.
For Goa, they might approach this particular match in a pretty upbeat state of mind, after having bagged a late equalizer through Manvir Singh against NorthEast United only a few days ago. They obviously would be edging to notch up the three points.
Costa has not given any notable news regarding the extent of Borges’ injury that he had picked up in the warm-up before the last match. In addition to that, Modou Sougou remains a significant absentee for the home side, who already seem to be lacking the teeth that the Senegalese forward provides in attack. Mato Grgic is yet another individual whose absence has been dearly felt by Mumbai in the heart of their backline.
On the other hand, FC Goa have no injury concerns as of now. However, Lobera does not have a full roster to choose his team from, as Seminlen Doungel was sent off against NorthEast and hence would be serving a suspension.
Mumbai City FC and FC Goa have come up against each other 12 times in the history of the ISL, with the former having won four games and Goa emerging triumphant in five matches. Three of the games have ended up as draws.
Man to Watch
Raynier Fernandes (Mumbai City FC)
Raynier continues to arguably be the team’s most reliable player currently
In the absence of Borges, Raynier was pegged back to a very reserved role in the previous match; something that had an adverse impact on Mumbai’s gameplay. This was visible through the lack of creative acumen in their offensive moves. If Jorge Costa is unable to add enough steel at the base of the midfield, Fernandes would receive the license to stitch precise passes in the final third and thus create more goalscoring chances for Amine Chermiti to pounce upon. Irrespective of the current injury crisis, Raynier continues to arguably be the team’s most reliable player currently.
Manvir Singh (FC Goa)
Lobera has currently deployed a system in which playing two frontline strikers is not a possibility. Hence, either of Ferran Corominas or Manvir Singh will get the nod to start. Given Corominas’ natural abilities and some imperious performances in his 50 appearances for the club so far, it is definitely redundant to ponder upon the thought that the head coach would let Manvir displace the senior forward as of now. But, the fresh legs that Singh brings onto the field as a substitute, his dogged work-rate and the tendency to capitalize on goalscoring chances, mean that he could be utilized as a highly impactful substitute in tomorrow’s game as well.
Mumbai City FC
Amrinder, Souvik, Pratik, Golui, Bose, Surchandra, Machado, Carlos, Raynier, Larbi, Chermiti
Nawaz, Seriton, Pena, Fall, Mandar, Jahouh, Lenny, Jackichand, Boumous, Brandon, Corominas
Did You Know?
- Corominas has now appeared 50 times for FC Goa so far and has bagged an impressive tally of 43 goals in this time.
- FC Goa had subjected Jorge Costa’s side to three defeats in the four matches that they played in the ISL against each other last season. More importantly, they notched five goals in two of their victories.
- In the absence of Mato Grgic, Mumbai City FC is the only side playing an all-Indian backline. Pratik Chaudhari replaced Grgic at the centre and it is expected that the team would continue with him for the time being.
The match will kickoff at 7:30 PM IST at the Mumbai Football Arena on Thursday. The game will be broadcast live on the Star Sports Network. It can also be streamed on Hotstar and Jio TV.