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Bengal vs Mumbai, Indian Football League 2020-21, Match Preview

Back of the goalless draw in the previous outing, Mumbai and Bengal lock horns in Indian Football League to extend the unbeaten streak. It will be the first time when I-League giants face Mumbai. 

Match Timings: Jan 22, 7:30 PM IST  

Team Preview 

Mumbai and Bengal are the only sides who kept its unbeaten streak in 2021. They haven’t lost a single affair in 2021. Bengal’s last defeat was recorded on December 15, and they haven’t lost a single match in the next seven matches. During this run, Bengal defeated Bengaluru and Odisha. They played its second goalless draw of the season against Chennai. Chennai had good chances, but Debijit Majumder took away the whole attention with fine saves in Bambolim. Enes Sipovic missed an opportunity, and it cost Chenna three points. Bright Enobakhare was the dominant star for Bengal, and the Nigerian was brought down a few times by Chennai. 

Majumder denied Esmael Goncalves, and later, Eli Sebia’s poor touch went to throw-in when Debjit lost his footing. Bengal were one man down in the second half when Ajay Chhetri was sent off after being booked for the second time. Naryan Das also denied a chance to Chennai. Anirudh Thapa got the pass from Jerry Lalrinzuala, but Debjit blocked the shot. Narayan Das cleared it before Rahim Ali got the ball. Anthony Pilkington offered a half-chance to Bengal through a good low cross from Surchandra Singh. Later, the skipper got a free-kick from Scott Neville, and Vishal Kaith made a fine save. Narayan Das gave a chance to defender Scott Neville through a corner-kick, but he couldn’t connect with his header. 

Debjit Majumder was the hero of the match who stooped Lallianzuala Chhangte and Fatkhullo Fatkhulloev to score by making fine saves. The 32-year-old Indian goalkeeper made six saves and become the best goalkeeper of the season with the most saves. He has made 41 saves so far, and only Kerala’s goalkeeper Gomes looked equal to his performance. 

Meanwhile, Mumbai are also on a historic unbeaten streak, and they have broken a record of most matches without a loss. After losing the opening fixture against the Highlanders, Mumbai remained unbeaten. They are unbeaten from 10-matches and currently sitting at the top of the spot. The current performance assures them a clear qualification for a maiden AFC Champions League. Playoffs qualification is pretty sure for Lobero’s men. Islanders witnessed its first goalless draw of the season, and for the second time this season, they didn’t score a single goal in a match. 

Manuel Roca’s men kept its defense so tight that Mumbai didn’t break the deadlock. Mumbai had a huge penalty appeal in the sixth minute. The referee gave a free-kick when Yasir cleared CY Goddard’s chipped ball with a high boot. According to the rulebook, a high boot without contact can only amount to an indirect free-kick, and that is exactly what the referee gave. Asish Rai pulled Hyderabad out of the trouble when Mumbai dominated the possession. Amrinder Singh also made a save when Joel Chianese set-up Liston Colaco for a shot. 

Nizam's full-backs hold Islanders in the second half with tackles and clearances. Mandar Rao Dessai and Bipin Singh tightened the attack. In the 73rd minute, Bartholomew Ogbeche made a good pass with Raynier Fernandes, but the ball went wide. Mumbai have conceded just four goals this season, and they can admire the defense. The forward line failed to break the deadlock of Hyderabad. Lobero would look for improvements after this draw. Mumbai have the upper hand, but Bengal’s improvement in the last one month offers a cracking contest between the two sides. Fowler would eye for a draw against a top Mumbai side, and if they succeed, it would be a big moral victory from him. 

Possible Lineups & Current Form 

Bengal 

Debjit Majumder; Narayan Das, Scott Neville, Daniel Fox, Ankit Mukherjee, Surchandra Singh, Milan Singh, Anthony Pilkington, Jacques Maghoma, Bright Enobakhare

Current form: D D W D W 

Previous match: goalless draw with Chennai 

Mumbai 

Amrinder Singh; Amey Ranawade, Ahmed Jahouh, Hernan Santana, Adam Le Fondre, Raynier Fernandes, Rowllin Borges, Mandar Rao Dessai, Cy Goddard, Mourtada Fall, Bipin Singh

Current form: D W W W W

Previous match: goalless draw with Hyderabad 

Key Players 

Bengal 

Jacques Maghoma 

2 goals & 1 assist in Indian Football League 2020-21 

Bright Enobakhare

2 goals & 1 assist in Indian Football League 2020-21 

Mumbai 

Adam Le Fondre

6 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21 

Bartholomew Ogbeche 

4 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21

MyTeam11 Desk
MyTeam11 Desk
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