FC Goa takes on Mumbai City FC, in the first leg of Semi-Final 1 of the ISL Playoffs. Sergio Lobera would like to reach the finals, as he faces his former side. The fierce rivalry was about to start from this season, and who knew, they’d play each other, four times! A win will be the utmost priority for both teams. For Goa, there is an added incentive, of getting the AFC Cup spot, besides getting their hands on the ISL Trophy. Mumbai, having achieved the ACL Spot, battle it out for the coveted ISL Trophy.
WHY SHOULD YOU BE WATCHING?
There is no reason at all, as to why one should not be tuning into star sports, come 7:30 pm. Attacking, Attractive and Possession Based football, is what you are going to miss out on! So, choose your stakes wisely. Two of the most attacking sides in the Indian Super League face each other today. So you might as well witness a goal-fest.
A win for any team will be halfway to the finals. A stalemate will take everything to play for at the Bambolim. However, there is nothing as “Away Goals”, this time around. Everything will be counted on an absolute number of goals scored.
Mumbai City form: WWLLD
FC Goa form: DWWDD
HEAD TO HEAD: Goa: 7 Draws: 4 Mumbai: 5
PREDICTED LINE UPS
FC Goa: (4-2-3-1)
Seriton, Adil, Donachie, Gama
Glan, Bedia, Romario, Ortiz, Princeton
Mumbai City: (4-2-3-1)
Amey, Fall, Hernan, Mandar
Borges, Jahouh, Raynier, Boumous, Bipin
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
The talismanic striker sits in second place on the golden boot charts, and will surely be looking to add to his tally, come to the playoffs. He has been instrumental in Goa’s success and is a “fox in the box” kind of a player. The Mumbai Backline needs to be wary of the threat that he certainly poses, and could prove to play a part in deciding the result of the fixture.
Ortiz has a certain glue, that makes the ball stick to his feet. He is a livewire in the attacking line, and his link-up with Igor is the key. With Noguera facing suspension, Ortiz has added pressure on his shoulders, but he is all capable of it. The dribbling skills of Ortiz, are a delight to watch, but not for Fall & Co. One of the most valuable players this season in terms of output, Ortiz’s return from injury will lift up Goa’s spirits.
The Golden Ball winner from last season is expected to walk himself back into the starting XI, after facing a four-match ban, during the ending stages of the league games. One of the best players in the league, Hugo is the fulcrum around which the Islanders’ attack revolves. Sergio Lobera will be revealed to his core that Hugo will be able to serve the team. The number 7 has already scored one, and assisted one in the previous meeting against his former side, and will be looking to trash his opponents, this time around as well.
Ahmed Jahouh. The Midfield magician. The boss of the middle of the park. The set-piece visionary. All of this is what he adds to the Mumbai outfit. He already has three set-piece assists in the last two games, and we all know what set pieces mean to this Mumbai Team. Without Jahouh, Mumbai isn’t the same, to be fair. The Moroccan is a huge part of this team’s success and he could see what your defenders can’t. So check out, Juan Ferrando!
The stage is set for an exciting game, and all the Indian football fans will be buzzing for the match. We hope to see an enthralling encounter between two like-minded teams. Let’s see which coach adapts to the other’s ideology. We would just like to say that may the best team win.
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