Mumbai City are back in Indian Super League action after over a month and are on the road with back to back away league fixtures. First up, the Islanders take on Bengaluru FC in a mouthwatering repeat of last season’s semifinals on Friday, December 8 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium with action kicking off at 8pm IST.

After Mumbai City’s last ISL outing against Punjab FC, the Islanders played out three consecutive AFC Champions League, most recently in their final Group D game against Uzbek side PFC Navbahor Namangan. Mumbai City opened their scoring account in the 2023-24 edition of the ACL when Nasser El Khayati gave the Islanders the lead in Pune with an instinctive finish. Despite dominating proceedings, the Islanders succumbed to the Uzbek side as Navbahor scored twice from two set pieces to hand Mumbai City a 2-1 defeat. Mumbai City, who sit in fifth place with 11 points from 5 games, have some catching up to do in the ISL in what will be a busy December with 6 league fixtures in 21 days.

Hosts Bengaluru FC will be eager for a win tomorrow to turn a leaf in their rocky league campaign so far. Simon Grayson’s side have four draws and a loss in their last five league outings and come into tomorrow’s clash off the back of a thrilling 3-3 draw against ISL newcomers Punjab FC. Nikhil Prabhu opened the scoring for the Shers but Bengaluru’s Harsh Patre restored parity just two minutes later. Goals from Dimitrios Chatziisaias and Luka Majcen gave Punjab a seemingly unassailable two-goal cushion but Bengaluru show grit and determination to overturn the deficit with goals from Curtis Main and Javi Hernandez to settle for a high scoring draw.

With an eye on making a strong return to the ISL, Mumbai City coach Anthony Fernandes asserted his focus on the Islanders’ preparation against a tough opponent in Bengaluru FC. “I think the last game that we played (in the ISL) was almost a month ago. We had a few ACL games in between, but now we are resuming our campaign in ISL and we are looking forward to it. For this away game, the team is very well prepared. We had an ACL game four days ago and now, it’s about rest and recovery. The next two sessions, we will work on the tactical bit and get ourselves as prepared as possible for this away game against a good team like Bengaluru FC,” said Fernandes.

Vinit Rai, who joined Fernandes at the pre-match press conference, believes his side has plenty of positives to take from the unbeaten start to the ISL and the ACL campaign. “We’ve already played five ISL games and six in the ACL. I think those six games in ACL have really helped us understand each other better. The AFC Champions League is a very high level in Asian football. I think that's not only helped me, but also all the players as well. Bengaluru FC are a good side and they have a good history behind their team. So, our focus is now to take one game at a time because this December is going to be hectic. Our team is well prepared and the last game against Navbahor has helped us a lot. The mentality we're going to show in this game against Bengaluru is going to be different,” said the 26-year old midfielder.

Vinit added, “We are looking at one game at a time, but this whole month is very important for us. We won’t have enough rest in between the games because we are playing every four days. These two away games (against Bengaluru and Goa) are very crucial before we play our two home games at the Mumbai Football Arena. We are in a very good space and ready to take the pitch against Bengaluru FC.”

With a crunch schedule coming up, Anthony Fernandes called upon his squad’s depth and experience to manage the fixture congestion. “We play 6 games in 21 days. This is where a big and fit squad helps you. We have been fortunate that all of our players, are available for selection, except for Yoëll (van Nieff). But that is going to be a key thing in these 21 days wherein we play a match and go back to rest and recover well for the next one. So, it's going to be hectic, but we are going to take one match at a time,” said Fernandes as he signed off from the media interaction.


Team News

The Islanders will miss the services of Yoëll van Nieff who will serve the final game of his 3-match suspension.


Where To Watch

The game will kick off at 8:00 PM IST on Friday, 8th of December 2023 and will be broadcasted on Sports 18 and Jio Cinema. For our global fans, you can find your broadcaster at or follow all the action LIVE on our official Twitter account - @MumbaiCityFC