Mumbai City FC will host Bengaluru FC at the Mumbai Football Arena today (Friday) in a bid to overcome two consecutive defeats and press for a place in the top four on the Indian Super League points table.
Mumbai City FC had been handed drubbings by ATK and Odisha FC in their last two outings. They will draw inspiration from their recent record against Bengaluru FC, against whom Jorge Costa’s team has not lost a game in the past three encounters.
The Sunil Chhetri-led Bengaluru have not displayed their best form in the ISL title defence this season. Still, they are well in position to climb atop the table as only one points separate them from league leaders FC Goa after 12 outings.
Bengaluru with six wins and four draws have accumulated 21 points so far. They have two matches.
The Blues though are a better side on paper and form than their hosts, but the recent record against Mumbai FC remains a matter of concern. “Mumbai is a team that makes things difficult for us. They are a counter-attacking team. They pump long balls forward. You need to score first. If they score first, then they will wait and go only in counters. So, we will try and score first,” Bengaluru head coach Carles Cuadrat said.
“The league situation can change very fast. ATK looked good and now they have lost two matches. Odisha has suddenly started to improve. We have six games to play and if we are in a good dynamic we can be in the playoffs. They are going to try and start on a good note for sure.”
Despite an inspiring record against the defending champions, Mumbai FC will be concerned about their recent form. “It’s true that we lost the last two games. We didn’t deserve to lose against ATK and the last game against Odisha was probably our worst game in the one and a half years that I’m here. It’s difficult for me. I can’t explain what happened in the last game,” head coach Jorge Costa said.
“We are five points below the top four. We have 18 points to play for and if possible, we are aiming to win all of them. If we do it, I’m sure we will reach the top four,” Costa said about the team’s chances or breaking into the top four. “We are not having the correct balance this season, but we have done some very good things this season and I know we can do it. Hopefully, we will have a good game. We are here to fight for the top four.”
Bengaluru FC go into the match as the favourites. Mumbai FC will be banking on the home advantage to repeat their outcome of their last meetings, when the fancied defending champions were shocked 2-3.
The match, scheduled to start at 7:30 pm in Mumbai, will be broadcast LIVE on Star Sports network. Fans can catch the LIVE broadcast with a half-an hour preview show from 7:00 pm on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 3, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 Hindi HD, Star Sports Tamil, Star Sports Telugu, Star Sports Kannada, Star Sports Bangla.
The LIVE action will also be streamed simultaneously on Star’s OTT platform Hotstar and JioTV.