The Mariners are looking for their third straight win of the season.

ATK Mohun Bagan face the biggest challenge yet of their Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 campaign when they take on defending champions Mumbai City FC. The Mariners have had an emphatic start to the season, with dominant wins over Kerala Blasters and SC East Bengal.

On the other hand, Des Buckingham’s side represent a different threat altogether. Over the last few years, the Islanders have almost been ATKMB’s kryptonite. They stopped them from winning both the League Winners’ Shield and the title last season. Antonio Habas’ side are gunning for sweet revenge, while Mumbai City aim to make another statement at their expense. This should be a thriller.

The Stakes

Beyond just the ‘revenge aspect,’ the game against Mumbai represents the chance for ATKMB to flex their muscles as title favorites. While the last two wins can’t be disregarded, doing it against the defending champions will be a real statement of intent.

Habas’ side also want to prove they don’t have any mental block against the Islanders. After losing all three head-to-head games last season, another loss could create a worrying pattern. Facing a Mumbai City side yet to find their ground under a new coach, anything but a win could be disappointing for the high-flying ATKMB side.

Mumbai City are yet to hit top gear this season. Their polarising first two results prove that the Islanders are yet to adapt to Buckingham’s system. However, the defending ISL champions are packed with too much quality to come crashing down after one unfortunate loss.

Last season, the Islanders proved they have ATKMB’s number. If able to fix up their defensive issues, they could put up a formidable fight. Mumbai City possess an unpredictable attacking line that can expose the Mariners’ defensive issues. Despite it being early in the season, a lot is riding on this game for the Islanders – as a win not only gets them back in the title race, but also deals a blow to ATKMB’s momentum.

Team News

Tiri will face a fitness test to determine whether he can play his first game of the season for ATKMB on Wednesday. Deepak Tangri picked up a slight knock in the Kolkata Derby win, but he should be fine. The Mariners have no other issues apart from that.

Mumbai City have a fully fit squad to pick from for the big game – apart from Vignesh Dakshinamurthy, of course. The youngster has been sidelined for a few weeks following his injury in the game against FC Goa.

Head-to-Head

As mentioned earlier, in the three ISL meetings so far between ATK Mohun Bagan and Mumbai City, the Islanders have come out on top every time.

Before that, the erstwhile ATK had faced Mumbai 14 times in the ISL. The Kolkata side won five games, with the Islanders winning five times as well.

Probable Lineups

ATK Mohun Bagan: Amrinder Singh (GK), Pritam Kotal, Carl McHugh, Subhasish Bose, Manvir Singh, Deepak Tangri, Lenny Rodrigues, Liston Colaco, Joni Kauko, Hugo Boumous, Roy Krishna.

Mumbai City FC: Mohammad Nawaz (GK), Amey Ranawade, Rahul Bheke, Mourtada Fall, Mandar Rao Dessai, Lalengmawia, Ahmed Jahouh, Raynier Fernandes, Ygor Catatau, Bipin Singh, Igor Angulo.

Man To Watch

Hugo Boumous (ATK Mohun Bagan)

The signing of Hugo Boumous was a real display of power from ATK Mohun Bagan in the summer. They paid Mumbai City a record transfer fee to let him go and are now reaping full benefits of having the irresistible midfielder. Boumous seems to have fit right into his new surroundings and is thriving in the ATKMB attack. It’ll be fascinating to see how he performs against his former side.

Boumous has played alongside the majority of the Mumbai City players and probably knows their games inside-out. He’ll aim to use that to torment them, floating into promising areas and using his impeccable final delivery to set up chances as well as look to score them.

Igor Angulo (Mumbai City FC)

A prominent rival to Boumous and Roy Krishna for the Golden Boot, Igor Angulo looks to be a one-man wrecking machine against the Mariners. The experienced Spaniard has a lot of responsibilities on his shoulders playing upfront for Mumbai City. However, he’s proved to thrive under the pressure – excelling leading an attacking line by himself.

Angulo can use his physicality, hold-up play and clever movement to torment the ATKMB backline – which probably won’t have a natural centre-back. As long as his teammates are able to get passes into key areas, the Spaniard can be a nightmare for Habas’ side and trouble Amrinder with decisive attempts on goal.

Did you know?

  • Boumous debut ISL goal for ATKMB against Kerala Blasters was the quickest one scored in any ISL opener in history – at only two minutes!
  • Ahmed Jahouh has made the second most tackles in the ISL this season, managing 19 tackles in two games.
  • Roy Krishna has successfully had the joint-most shots on target (five) for any player in ISL this season in only two games.

Telecast

The game will be played at the Fatorda Stadium on December 1st at 7:30 PM IST. It will be shown on Star Sports 2 & Star Sports 2 HD, as well as be available for streaming on Disney+Hotstar and JioTV.

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