Mumbai City FC will aim to keep its unbeaten record in the Indian Super League 2022-23 (ISL) intact when it faces ATK Mohun Bagan at the Mumbai Football Arena on Sunday.
Both sides come into this match after convincing 2-0 wins in their last games. The Islanders defeated Kerala Blasters while the Mariners were victorious in the Kolkata Derby against arch-rivals East Bengal.
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Mumbai City FC will take the field on Sunday with the psychological advantage of being unbeaten against ATK Mohun Bagan in the competition.
MCFC likely to retain XI
Head coach Des Buckingham is not expected to make any changes to the 11 who started against the Blasters. Alberto Noguera is expected to start from the bench as Greg Stewart takes his place in midfield, allowing Jorge Diaz to operate up front.
Diaz is expected to be flanked by Lallianzuala Chhangte and Bipin Singh. The duo have started every game for the host so far this season. Defender Mehtab Singh has won three Hero of the Match awards in four matches so far and will start on defense alongside Rostyn Griffiths.
“The focus is on us. I am very happy with the progress we have made so far. We want to keep building, getting better with each round and being defensive,” Buckingham said.
“We know we have to be wary of other teams. ATK Mohun Bagan has shown their strength in the last two games, but we spend most of our time on ourselves,” he added.
ATKMB coach Juan goes with four defenders
After losing the first match of the season, ATK Mohun Bagan won their last two matches against Kerala Blasters and East Bengal FC. Head coach Juan Ferrando switched from a three-man defense to a 4-2-3-1 system in the Kolkata Derby.
The new system worked well for the Spaniard and he can use the same formation against the islanders. Pritam Kotal and Brendan Hamill have started defense of the Mariner in all three games so far this season and are able to retain their spots.
Top scorer and assist provider Dimitri Petratos of the season is expected to start first, with support from forwards Manvir Singh and Liston Colaco on the flanks. Hugo Boumous will play a vital role in the midfield and it will be interesting to see how the midfielder performs against MCFC’s Ahmed Jahouh.
“They have a lot of good players. It’s a difficult game, especially because it’s away from home against such a big team. But we have a plan and I hope it leads us to success,” said Ferrando.
Speaking of the fact that ATK has never beaten Mohun Bagan Mumbai, Ferrando said: “I hope we get three points this Sunday. That’s our goal. I never think about statistics because in football statistics change. The most important thing for me is that we be ready to play out.”
The two sides played against each other five times. The Islanders have had four wins, while one game has ended in a draw. This includes the Hero ISL 2020-21 Final when Mumbai City defeated ATK Mohun Bagan 2-1. Bipin Singh scored the winning goal in the 90th minute.