Mumbai City FC are back at the Arena! After going down 2-4 in a poor showing against Odisha FC last week, Jorge Costa’s boys return to action at home tomorrow against a formidable FC Goa.
The Islanders displayed a lacklustre performance against ISL newcomers Odisha FC in our first home game of the 2019/20 league campaign. The visitors seemed to be the only side playing in the first half as the Islanders succumbed to a 0-3 deficit at half time.
A slightly improved showing in the second was not enough to get anything from the night, as the Islanders fell to a 2-4 defeat. Mohamed Larbi converted a penalty which would become the 100th league goal for Mumbai City FC before Bipin Singh scored a late consolation and his first in the Blue of Mumbai City FC.
With plenty of injury concerns for Jorge Costa ahead of a crucial game, the Islanders will have their work cut out, looking to bounce back with a win ahead of the long international break.
Last season’s runners-up FC Goa have come into the 2019/20 ISL with a largely unchanged squad. After the low in the ISL final, FC Goa picked up their first piece of silverware, winning the 2019 Super Cup. Now in his third year at the helm, Sergio Lobera has stamped his free-flowing, possession-based style of the game on the Gaurs.
Despite retaining all but one of their foreign recruits and a large chunk of the Indian squad, tomorrow’s visitors have had a shaky start to the 2019/20 campaign. Sergio Lobera’s men made a statement when they beat Chennaiyin FC 3-0 in their season opener, but have only picked up draws in their two subsequent games with the Gaurs scoring late equalisers in both.
Coming into tomorrow’s game, FC Goa seemingly hold the aces after a strong record against the Islanders last season. But as Jorge Costa rightly put, it’s a new season, a new team and there can be no guarantee what the final score tomorrow will look like.
Souvik Chakrabarti will be in contention for a spot in the XI after his completed his one-game suspension. Mato Grgic, Modou Sougou, Sourav Das continue to be out along with Rowllin Borges who picked up an injury in the pre-match warm up last week against Odisha FC. Young midfielder Asif Khan, who impressed with the Islanders’ U-18s last season, has been brought into the squad in place of Anwar Ali.
FC Goa will be sweating on the fitness of their star midfielder Edu Bedia who could feature for the Gaurs tomorrow for the first time this season. New addition Seimenlen Doungel will not be involved after the forward was sent off against NorthEast United FC after lashing out on Martin Chaves.