Six weeks. It has been six weeks to the day the last time the Islanders stepped out on a football pitch. A night when records tumbled, history was made and everything went right – one could even complain to the footballing gods of it being too anticlimatic going into the long international break after a run like that.
With Hero ISL action resuming tomorrow, we’re back at the Mumbai Football Arena and in town are the table-toppers, Bengaluru FC. Currently on a club record eight game unbeaten run, Jorge Costa’s boys will resume the league campaign after a long hiatus against the Blues who come in with a formidable record of their own.
The two sides faced off earlier this season on December 9 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, with Mumbai City FC coming away with a point from Bangalore in a thrill-a-minute 1-1 draw. On a night when things could have swung either way, the Islanders put up a magnificent showing despite being forced to play a large chunk of the second half with a man short following Sehnaj Singh’s second yellow card of the night.
After storming the league stage in the last edition of the Hero ISL, Bengaluru FC have not put a foot wrong in this season of the league either. Carles Cuadrat’s side have shown that they are capable of grinding out results from even the most dire situations and come in to tomorrow’s fixture unbeaten so far in the competition after 11 games.
Bengaluru FC sit three points adrift in first place albeit with a game in hand but are considerably within touching distance for Jorge Costa’s side. With both sides fighting to maintain their march up the table, tomorrow certainly promises to be a ‘Super Sunday’ for both sets of fans.
Where to watch it:
The game will kick off at 7.30pm IST and will be broadcast on the Star Sports Network, Hotstar and Jio TV for all viewers in India. For our global fans, you can find your broadcaster HERE. You can also follow live action on our official Twitter account - @MumbaiCityFC.
Sehnaj Singh served his one-game suspension after sitting out during the 6-1 win over Kerala Blasters and will be back in the reckoning for a spot in the side. New signing Sanjay Balmuchu – on loan from Jamshedpur FC – is also eligible and will be in contention for a place in the starting XI.
The fitness of Nishu Kumar and Rino Anto remains a spot of bother for Carles Cuadrat but the Spaniard will be counting on his lethal frontman Miku who returned from a lengthy injury lay off and could feature at the Arena tomorrow.
Who said what:
Jorge Costa: We know that at the moment, we are in a good position and we don't want to lose any points. On Sunday, we will play in front of our fans and we want to take all three points.
Paulo Machado: We’re prepared for the challenge. We had a good game the last time we faced Bengaluru FC and we’re confident we can do the same tomorrow with a better result.
Amrinder Singh: It will be a tough game and focus will be paramount. Everyone wants to keep this great run going.
25 Jan: Kerala Blasters 1-1 ATK (Gerson Vieira OG 88’ Edu Garcia 85’)
Fixtures coming up:
26 Jan: NorthEast United FC vs Chennaiyin FC (Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati, 7.30pm)
28 Jan: FC Goa vs Jamshedpur FC (Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Goa, 7.30pm)
30 Jan: Bengaluru FC vs NorthEast United FC (Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru, 7.30pm)
31 Jan: Delhi Dynamos FC vs Kerala Blasters FC (Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi, 7.30pm)