Mumbai City hit the road for their 2019-20 Indian Super League season opener as they play Kerala Blasters at the Kaloor Stadium.
This will be the second game for Kerala this season following their campaign opening 2-1 win over two-time ISL champions ISL at Kaloor Stadium. Despite falling behind to Carl McHugh's 6th-minute goal, Kerala pegged the opponents back through two goals from super-striker Bartholomew Ogbeche.
Mumbai City, on the other hand, will play their first game against Kerala and will hope to start the season on a positive note. Last season, they had an absolute disaster in their first game as FC Goa thrashed them 1-5 in front of their own fans.
But that defeat proved to be a catalyst in Mumbai's season as Jorge Costa's men then went on a nine-game unbeaten run (the best in Mumbai City history) and qualified for the playoffs for just the second time.
Kerala will have to be wary of Mumbai, for the visitors have good quality attacking players on their roster who can hurt them, especially if Kerala don't improve in the middle of the park.
Kerala Blasters vs ATK: Blasters won the game 201 at Kaloor Stadium.
Mumbai City: This is Mumbai's first game of the current season.
The Indian Super League match will be played between Kerala Blasters and Mumbai City at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (Kaloor Stadium), in Kochi, Kerala. The ground has a capacity of 65,000.
The game will start at 07:30 PM (IST), on Thursday, October 24.
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Kerala Blasters Team News:
Kerala have no injury issues ahead of this game but manager Eelco Schattorie could ring in a few changes for the match against Mumbai.
Sahal Abdul Samad is the one player who will look to get into the playing 11 here. The 22-year-old Indian international has seen his stock risen in the last year or so and is expected to play a crucial role in Mumbai's midfield this season.
That said, manager Schattorie reiterated once again that the fans will have to be patient with Samad.
Kerala didn't have the best of the game against ATK and could have easily lost that match. They found it hard to control the midfield with Jeakson Singh Thounaojam clearly struggling against ATK.
Expect no changes in the backline, while the attack will be led by Ogbeche once again.
Kerala Blasters Probable XI:
Bilal Khan (GK), Mohammad Rakip, Gianni Zuiverloon, Jairo Rodriguez, Jessel Carneiro, Moustapha Gning, Jeakson Singh Thounaojam / Sahal Abdul Samad, Sergio Cidoncha, Halicharan Narzary, Prasanth Karuthadathkuni, Bartholomew Ogbeche
Mumbai City FC Team News:
Former Minerva Punjab centre-back Anwar Ali pulled out of the Mumbai squad due to a heart problem. He will be out for the indefinite period.
Star midfielder Rowlin Borges should make his debut for Mumbai City FC in this match. The 27-year-old is expected to form a partnership with Raynier Fernandes, in the midfield this season, while players such as Mato Grgic, Amine Chermiti and Mohamed Larbi are also looking to make their debut.
Mumbai City – Change in the roster:
Additions: Diego Carlos, Serge Kevyn, Mohammad Larbi, Amine Chermiti, Mato Grgic, Pratik Chaudhari, Bidyananda Singh, Surchandra Singh, Sourav Das, Anwar Ali Jr, Valpuia, Sarthak Golui, Rowllin Borges
Players leaving: Milan Singh, Sehnaj Singh, Anwar Ali Sr, Lucian Goian, Arnold Issoko, Rafael Bastos, Joyner Lourenco, Matias Mirabaje and Marko Klisura.
Mumbai City squad:
Goalkeepers: Amrinder Singh, Ravi Kumar, Kunal Sawant
Defenders: Mato Grgic, Souvik Chakrabarti, Anwar Ali, Valpuia, Sarthak Golui, Subhasish Bose, Pratik Chaudhari
Midfielders: Mohamed Larbi, Diego Carlos, Sourav Das, Surchandra Singh, Paulo Machado, Raynier Fernandes, Rowllin Borges, Serge Kevyn, Pranjal Bhumij, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy, Bipin Singh, Bidyananda Singh
Forwards: Amine Chermiti, Modou Sougou
Mumbai City Probable XI:
Amrinder Singh (GK), Sauvik Chakrabarti, Sarthak Golui, Mato Grgic, Subhasish Bose, Rowllin Borges, Raynier Fernandes, Paulo Machado, Mohamed Larbi, Amine Chermiti, Modou Sougou
Likely to score:
Captain and Vice-Captain Selection:
To be updated on India Fantasy Premium.
MCFC vs KBFC Dream11 potential winner:
Mumbai City should at least get a draw here.