I-League: Bengaluru FC vs Mumbai FC Preview

Tuesday, 17 January 2017|Sunil A. Markal

Bengaluru FC and Mumbai FC face off in a table topping clash at the home of the holders in this midweek Round 3 fixture. Despite not being rivals, it has been a high intensity battle of late, owing to the controversy surrounding former managers Ashley Westwood and Khalid Jamil.

Previous games: The Blues continued their winning home run with a 2-0 triumph over Chennai City FC, but need two late goals from Roby Norales and CK Vineeth to bail them out. Mumbai FC too kept up the pace with leaders Mohun Bagan and Wednesday’s hosts with a 2-1 win against Churchill Brothers. Karan Sawhney stabbed in a 92nd minute winner to claim all three points for his side.

Traveling: The away side traveled directly from Goa to Bangalore after their encounter against Churchill Brothers, covering approximately 600kms in around an hour.

Team confidence: Bengaluru FC’s home has become something of a fortress, with the ‘West Block Blues’ rallying their side forward with their boisterous support, and they will be confident going into this. Mumbai FC will be equally confident after their recent run.

Preparations: The Blues have been training at the Bangalore Football Stadium, while the away side reached the Garden City yesterday.

Manager quotes: Bengaluru FC head coach Albert Roca praised Mumbai’s mentality, acknowledging that it won’t be an easy game.

“This is a team that is mentally strong after two wins. So we are ready for a hard battle. They have enough talent to put us in trouble and they will try it. But we are ready for that.”

The opposition gaffer Santosh Kashyap, meanwhile, expects an exciting game, also emphasizing on his attacking philosophy.

“I am a coach who loves to play attacking football and Bengaluru FC too like to come out and play and I’m sure we will have a very exciting game of football tomorrow.”

Injury/Suspensions: On injury front, the Blues will yet again miss the likes of Rino Anto, Lalthuammawia Ralte, Keegan Pereira, Salam Ranjan Singh and Lalchhuanmawia. Australian Cameron Watson has recovered from a stomach bug that saw him relegated him to the bench against Chennai City FC.

Mumbai FC can brag about fully fit squad.

Both teams are free from suspensions.

Predicted starting XI:

Prediction: 1-0

Bengaluru FC’s tight defence might be too good for the away side’s inexperienced attack to break down; with their attacking expertise might be enough to get them over the line.

The game will be televised live on Ten 2 from 7PM. Catch the live commentary on Twitter with FeverPitch.in.