The eighth season of the Indian Super League is going on in its usual flow behind closed doors in Goa amidst the growing concern over an ensuing third corona wave in the country. Though there are hindrances, the league doesn’t literally listen to anyone. India’s elite-most football league has united the people of the country in the same thread of fraternity and has brought back smiles in the faces of people in these hard times. As the season has commenced, we are now up for the big clash between the last season’s finalists. Three-time champions ATKMB lock horns with reigning champions Mumbai City FC in a mouthwatering clash at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda tonight.
Table-toppers ATKMB will look to consolidate their position atop the table and take perfect revenge for their last-year final loss. MCFC on the other hand will be looking to return back to winning ways after suffering a recent disappointing loss to Hyderabad. Both the teams are in desperate need of a win and this spices up the encounter
more. Let’s see if Habas’ men can come out on top tonight against them or will Mumbai-boys again snatch a win? Tune into the match to know everything
ATKMB are coming onto the match on the back of a dominant 3-0 win over their arch-rivals in the Kolkata derby. They went 3-0 up inside the first 25 minutes itself courtesy of some mind-blowing football played by the green-and-maroons. Roy Krishna, Liston Colaco, and Manvir Singh all scored to give the side an easy win. Now against Mumbai, it remains to be seen whether they can secure a win at least this time. Habas will definitely be desperate to remove his side’s terrible record against the Islanders when they clash with MCFC today.
1) ATKMB’s biggest strength is their star-studded midfield. The arrival of Hugo Boumous, Lenny Rodrigues, Fijian International Joni Kauko, and Liston Colaco have boosted their midfield so much. Hugo Boumous is the main fulcrum of their midfield who creates the play and forms big chances. His defense-splitting passes and pinpoint crossing are a delight to watch. Joni Kauko has also been so far solid in his display so far.
2) Another bigger prospect is their high-scoring consistent forward line. Two-time golden boot winner Roy Krishna, Manvir, David Williams, and Colaco are a nightmare for defenders. Manvir and Colaco bring up those runs from the middle which end up in sublime finishes from Krishna. Colaco and Manvir’s dribbling qualities are also one of the best in the business.
The Green and Maroon’s main weakness is their shaky defense. The absence of any big-name after the departure of Jhingan and subsequent injury to Tiri has proved to be fatal. Deepak Tangri and Carl McHugh are doing good but they need to be more cautious in order to stop Angulo. Apart from this, there is no such weakness in the team.
Players to watch out for
The Fijian striker has turned out to be the heartthrob for ATKMB fans since his arrival in 2019. His consistency and goalscoring prowess is his biggest weapon which makes him a nightmare for defenders. Krishna is a fox in the box who can be also head well as well as shoot fiercely. The two-time golden boot winner has also started his season in style by scoring in both matches. Habas would undoubtedly hope that his star man comes out on top tonight.
The former Mumbai City man is the Messiah of ATKMB’S star-studded midfield. His on-field creativity always makes the difference for his side. Be it in building attacks or delivering pinpoint balls, the Frenchman is apt in both. He can alone rip apart defenses with his dribbling qualities and cool-headed decisions. He would obviously be the main weapon if Habas’ men are to beat Mumbai today. Already scoring 2 goals and 1 assist, he would be eagerly waiting to increase his tally.
MUMBAI CITY FC
The start of MCFC was outrageous they thrashed FC GOA with the score of 3-1. But since then things in the next match went wrong for MCFC.After scoring the first goal and leading by 1-0. They conceded a penalty in the first half and then two goals in the second half taking a 3-1 defeat to Hyderabad FC. Their important left-back Vignesh also got injured in the first match. If they want to gain some momentum now, they’ll have to win this match against the league toppers ATKMB. It would be very difficult to beat ATKMB as they are in ruthless form.
GK: Mohammed Nawaz
Defense: Amey Ranawade, Rahul Bheke, Mourtada Fall, Mandar Rao Desai
Midfield: Rowlin Borges, Ahmed Jahouh, Raynier Fernandes
Attack: Cassio Gabriel, Igor Angulo, Bipin Singh
1)Stability in the midfield: The three midfielders of Mumbai City have been very good for them, Ahmed Jahouh was excellent in the previous match scoring a goal, and Raynier Fernandes has also been decent. Also, Rowlin Borges is back from the injury. So they would be looking to outlast ATKMB ‘s midfield with their high pressing.
2)Amey Ranawade: This young full-back has been excellent with his work rate. He makes incisive run-up forward tries to link up with midfielders and forwards give dangerous crosses and drop down to defend when needed. He could be a key player in Mumbai’s build-up
1)Pathetic defending: In the game against Hyderabad FC Mumbai’s defense was fully exposed. Mourtada Fall and Rahul Bheke were not upto their mark. And players in ATKMB like Hugo Boumous, Roy Krishna can be very dangerous in counter-attacks. So MCFC’s defense needs to stay calmer and avoid miss passes in their half, try to properly man-mark the players like Roy Krishna, Hugo Boumous, and Manvir Singh.
2)Lack of calmness in the final third:
In the game against Hyderabad, we didn’t see Igor Angulo much of the ball. His touches inside the D box were very rare. He was also trying to link up with Cassio and Raynier but ended up failing. Also, MCFC created chances but couldn’t score. If MCFC wants to win this match, they need to take their chances.
Players to watch out for
The main marksman is looking for goals and he could be a key asset to Mumbai’s attack. If he gets involved in the game and gets proper supplies he can cause threats to Atk’s defense.
This player has been excellent for Mumbai City in this season so far. Having an assist and a goal he is commander of Mumbai’s central midfield. He controls the game from the middle of the park. His delivery from set-pieces has been excellent. He can also look for long-through balls. He can be a key player for Mumbai.
3)Mandar Rao Desai
The most experienced guy in the league is back from the injury and will be looking to give a good performance. He can deliver very good crosses and his experience will also help the team to cope up with Atk. He also could be a player to watch for Mumbai.
The “El-Clasico” of Indian football will well be an enthralling and enticing one to watch for. Both sides will go all out to bag three points from this clash. Expect a fierce encounter to unleash at the magical Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda tonight. Tighten your seatbelts and sit in front of the television on time to see who wins this high voltage fixture.
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