Mumbai City FC battle with Mohun Bagan for ISL supremacy

Kolkata, Apr 14 (UNI) Mumbai City FC battle with Mohun Bagan Super Giant at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan here on Monday at 7:30 pm IST in a match that will straightaway determine the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 League Winners.

At the top of the table right now, Mumbai City FC have accumulated 47 points from 21 matches, having won all of their last five games.

They are closely trailed by the Mohun Bagan Super Giant, who have 45 points from as many matches. A win here will take the Mariners to 48 points, helping them beat the Islanders to the title.

Similarly, a victory for the Islanders will ensure that they lift the shield by a margin of five points. Even a draw will be insufficient for the Antonio Lopez Habas-coached side to finish atop the standings.

The situation in the league currently is starkly similar to ISL 2020-21. Even back then, the fight for the League Shield had gone to the final day of the league campaign, with the then Sergio Lobera-coached Mumbai City FC edging past Habas’ Mariners by 2-0 courtesy of first-half strikes by Mourtada Fall and Bartholomew Ogbeche.

Keeping their attacking prowess aside, Mohun Bagan Super Giant has been faring fairly well at the back too. They have kept clean sheets in each of their last two matches, and the last time they went on a longer such streak was a run of four games from November to December 2022.

The Mariners have also scored in each of their last five home matches. Their previous best record on this front was a stretch of six such clashes from October to December 2022. Their current five-game stretch is their longest when scoring multiple goals in a home game.

Mohun Bagan Super Giant (501) is one of two teams to have registered 500+ touches in the opposition box in the ongoing season (FC Goa – 591); Mumbai City FC (498) is two such touches away from becoming the third team to do so.

The above facts suggest that a face-off of equals is on the cards here, with abundant offensive flair and defensive discipline set to be on display in the encounter.

Mumbai City FC have held the upper hand in most of their recent meetings against the Mohun Bagan Super Giant. They have been unbeaten in their previous eight matches against the Mariners, having won six times and drawn twice in these games.

The Islanders seem to have the perfect fix to the offensive powerhouse that the Mohun Bagan Super Giant boasts of.

For instance, Mumbai City FC have kept four clean sheets in their last five away games. Before that, they had not conceded a goal in a game in four out of only their previous 14 matches on the road, suggesting a tangible recent development on this front.

Mohun Bagan Super Giant hosts dynamic wingers Liston Colaco and Manvir Singh, who can be lethal with their deliveries from the flank.

However, the Islanders have conceded only once from a cross this season, the lowest amongst all teams, cutting down a possible area where the Mariners could have intensified their attacks.

With brilliant individual talent and smart tacticians at play, one must expect fireworks from this clash.

Manvir Singh of Mohun Bagan Super Giant has had a terrific campaign so far, netting thrice and assisting seven times across 19 appearances in the ISL. He has provided the most assists by an Indian player and joint second most overall (Madih Talal – 10) this season.

If he provides an assist in this game, he will equal Roy Krishna’s record for most assists provided in a single season by a Mariner in competition history.

Manvir has recorded 90 touches in the box of the opposition in the current campaign. He has made 22 successful dribbles, 25 key passes, and created 32 goal-scoring opportunities.

Manvir has recorded a shooting accuracy of 64 percent , and a goal conversion rate of 12 percent. He has made 30 passes per game at 78% accuracy, winning 75 duels, making 84 recoveries, and has been booked merely twice.

Lallianzuala Chhangte inspired Mumbai City FC to an emphatic victory against Odisha FC in their previous match with a goal and an assist each.

Chhangte has notched six goals and assists each in 21 league appearances this season. He has made 94 touches in the opposition’s box, attempting 23 passes per game at 84% accuracy.

He has made 28 successful dribbles, and 26 key passes, and also created 32 goal-scoring chances. Chhangte has taken 18 shots on target so far, and he has also won 65 duels in addition to making 71 recoveries.

With a goal conversion rate of 18.18%, Chhangte has followed up his brilliant season last time around with another impactful campaign this year.

“Mumbai City FC are a very good team with many good players. They are unbeaten and have also been in the top two spots for a long time now. We’ll try to help our players in ways they can do better tomorrow,” Mohun Bagan Super Giant Assistant Coach Manuel Perez said in the pre-match press conference.

“We have overall done well throughout the season. It’s come down to one game now. It’s like a final now, essentially a game for the League Shield itself,” Mumbai City FC Head Coach Petr Kratky said before the game.

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