Bengaluru FC lock horns with Mumbai FC in pursuit of victory
Written by: Punit Tripathi
Mumbai FC got their first points after five games against Mohun Bagan in the last round...
Mumbai FC will be hosting defending champions Bengaluru FC for their second home game on trot after their last game against Mohun Bagan ending in a goalless draw. The Yellow Brigade will be hoping to at least salvage a point after having a disastrous season, languishing at the bottom half of the table.
Bengaluru FC, on the other hand, will be looking to get back to winning ways after having a below-par performances in the last four league games. Bengaluru have slumped to their worst form in the last two years, having not won a game in their last five appearances.
Key midfielder Thoi Singh will be fit and raring to go after his below par performance against the Green and Maroons. The Chennaiyin FC winger has taken a lot of responsibility this season for the Yellow Brigade and coach Santosh Kashyap will be hoping the India international plays up to his potential. Captain Steven Dias may miss out. The Mumbaikars also do not have any suspensions which boosts their chances of an effective tactical strategy on Saturday.
John Johnson is expected to make a come-back to the Starting XI after serving his three-match ban after his red card against Churchill Brothers. Young defender Salam Ranjan Singh is expected to make way and CK Vineeth might be brought back to the XI in place of Daniel, who did not have a great game against Aizawl FC.
Head to Head
Bengaluru hold a sllight edge in games between these two teams with two wins to one for Mumbai. Four games have ended in draws.
Santosh Kashyap-Mumbai FC: I am not concerned about the past six years, who was the coach et al. My objective is to win the remaining nine matches.”
“We changed our shape and positioning of our players due to which we conceded goals. In the last match (against Mohun Bagan), we worked on our mistakes and we got a clean sheet, and we will improve from this point and try to win the rest of our matches,” said Santosh Kashyap. “In this league table apart from Mohun Bagan and East Began each and every team is struggling, and Bengaluru are going through a bad phase as well,” expressed Santosh Kashyap.
Albert Roca-Bengaluru FC: It’s frustrating for sure to control large parts of the game and then come away with a point. But that’s football and like I have been saying, it’s important to keep any negativity away. We back the kind of quality we have and we will need to show it against Mumbai,” he said.
"Like us, Mumbai too have been chasing a win for some time now and that is what makes them dangerous. They have even added four foreigners who look experienced and that changes a lot from the last time we played them,” said Roca
Man to Watch
Karan Sawhney-Mumbai FC: Despite constant poor performances by Mumbai FC in this year’s I-League, Karan Sawhney has emerged as a threat not to be taken lightly whenever he has played. Sawhney, who is being regarded as one of the finest Indian forwards currently, has been a threat to be reckoned with for any defensive units. Fast movements on the ball, Sawhney also offers tricky movements in the opposition final third and is quick to respond to long balls intended for him. Dribbling is another signature mark of the 24-year old forward and is expected to play a key role for Mumbai.
Sunil Chhetri-Bengaluru FC: But for this man's fighting spirits and perseverance, Bengaluru FC would have been languishing even below on the table. The captain has been absolutely phenomenal on the pitch, almost waging a lone battle in most games and scoring key goals. The striker needs to be the pivot around which the team should be played and Roca should be letting his talisman start as the attacking lynchpin.
Mumbai FC (4-3-3): Kattimani (GK), Asheer, Pratik, Chandra, Reagan Singh, Densill, Hanghal, Sharityar, Willian, Karan, Hitesh
Bengaluru FC: Amrinder, Khabra, Jhingan, Johnson, Ralte, Lenny, Watson, Udanta, Chhetri, Mandar, Vineeth
The game will be broadcasted live on Ten 2 from 07:00 pm IST and you can catch all the action on KhelNow.com.
Published: Fri Feb 17, 2017 09:06 PM IST