Game week 17 will see Kerala Blasters and Mumbai City turn up at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim in search of nothing less than 3 points.
Blast from the past:
2021’s first Hero ISL clash saw Mumbai City FC take all three points against Kerala Blasters in a 2-0 victory.
The two time Hero ISL finalists were on a five match unbeaten run until ATK MohunBagan brought an end to their unbeaten run. A frustrating defeat to Mariners was surely a tough pill to swallow for Kibu Vicuna and his side despite having a 2-0 lead. Finding the back of the net is not a tough task for the Yellow army but defending them is. They have found the back of net on 19 occasions but have leaked 22 goals, 6 of them being scored from penalties. The side from Kerala will be raring to go as nothing less than 3 points will be enough for them.
“They are the current league leaders. We know that they are a very good team with a very good head coach. It was always a big challenge for us, especially after our last game against ATK Mohun Bagan. We have to come back and get the points,” Kerala Blasters head coach Kibu Vicuna said ahead of the game.
Mumbai City FC:
The Islanders suffered their second defeat of the season against the same side who handed them their first. Mumbai City FC’s 12 match unbeaten was brought to an end by Northeast United FC. However, Sergio Lobera’s side still maintain their lead at the top of table as they are still 3 points ahead of the chasing pack. Although the City Football Group owned outfit have registered the most number of goals (20) this season, goalscoring has been a problem for them in the past few fixtures. Mumbai City FC will be looking to extend their lead at the top as we approach the business end of the Hero ISL.
“Kerala Blasters have improved a lot since their first game. Now they are competing very well and playing very well. The first half in the last game is a very good example. It is always going to be a difficult game against a very good team. They play very good football. They try to play out from the back and have very good players. The most important thing is to put focus on ourselves and compete against a very good team like Kerala.”
Players to watch out for:
The Pacy winger from God’s own country has been one of the most sensational Indian young players this season. His partnerships with Kerala Blasters’ frontline commandos Jordan Murray and Garry Hooper has bern really influential in the attacking third. The Indian International has already found the back of the net thrice and will be looking to add something to his tally against the Islanders.
The Indian International was out die to suspension against Northeast United and his absence was surely felt in the middle of the park for the Islanders. The former Northeast United midfielder will be eager to hit the ground running against the Blasters.
Predicted Starting XI:
Kerala Blasters FC: Albino (GK), Sandeep, Kone, Costa, Nishu, Jeakson, Gomez, Rahul, Hooper, Sahal, Murray.
Mumbai City FC: Amrinder (GK), Ranawade, Fall, Hernan, Dessai, Rowllin, Goddard, Jackichand, Boumous, Bipin, Le Fondre.