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

After finding the first win of the season, Kerala will take on high-flying Mumbai in the first game of 2020 in the Indian Football League. Mumbai would look to retain the top spot from the Mariners, while Kerala will try to better its position in the points table. 

Match Timings: Jan 02, 7:30 PM IST 

Team Preview 

Mumbai and Kerala resume Indian Football League 2020-21 after a New Year break. Both sides are coming off a 2-0 win against Hyderabad in previous encounters. Sergio Lobero would enter in 2021 with the potential hope of winning the maiden title for Mumbai. The Islanders had a dominating season so far with just one defeat from eight matches. They are unbeaten from the last seven matches, and Mumbai are the firm favourites to win the trophy this year. After losing to Northeast in the season opener, Mumbai didn’t look back and showed the big domination this season. They last played on December 20, and Lobero’s men are fresh after 12 days break in this long competition. 

In the previous outing against Hyderabad, Mumbai dominated the whole game. Vignesh Dakshinamurthy started the scoring for the Islanders in the 38th minute through a blistering volley. Fondre doubled the lead for Mumbai in the 59th minute, courtesy of a low cross from Rowllin Borges. Hugo Boumous’s absence hurt Mumbai, who provided four assists in five matches. Cy Goddard was average in dribbling and passing skills. Boumous is now fully fit and available for Saturday’s clash. Mumbai started without Mandar Rao Dessai, Bartholomew Ogbeche, and Hugo Boumous against Hyderabad and still walked away with full three points. This Mumbai side is way different than any other unit, and Sergio Lobero would expect three more points on Saturday to upstage Mariners from the top spot. 

Meanwhile, Kerala found its first win of the season after a woeful start in 2020-21. They edged past Hyderabad 2-0 to get three points. The win didn’t change their position in the table, but Kerala got the confidence for the second half of the tournament. The coach made some fine changes, and Indian players showed positive intent in the field. It was a collective team effort for the Yellow Army. 

Hyderabad had few good chances, but they didn’t grab. Sahal Abdul Samad got an opportunity, but his attempt was blocked by Odei Onaindia. Nishu Kumar also pushed Santana to create a possible penalty for Hyderabad, but Kerala survived this scar. In the 27th-minute, Abdul Hakku got the better of Asish Rai from a Facundo Pereyra corner-kick to take the lead for Kerala. Jordan Murray assured the win for the Yellows with the 88th-minute strike. Liston Colaco and Santana both were guilty of missing superb chances, which cost Hyderabad three points. 

All the credit goes to Kerala's head coach Kibu Vicuna who made brave changes. Sandeep Singh and Abdul Hakku replaced both the foreign center-backs Bakary Kone and Costa Nhamoinesu. Sahal Abdul Samad, Jordan Murray, and Jeakson Singh played ahead of Rohit Kumar, Gary Hooper, and Seityasen Singh. These changes paid off, and both new faces Murray and Abdul Hakku struck for Kerala. Jeakson Singh was better as a defensive midfielder, and Sandeep Singh put a decent show in defense. 

Possible Lineups & Current Form 

Mumbai 

Amrinder Singh, Amey Ranawade, Mourtada Fall, Bipin Singh, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy, Rowllin Borges, Raynier Fernandes, Cy Goddard, Hugo Boumous, Ahmed Jahouh, Adam le Fondre

Current Form: W D L L D 

Previous match: 2-0 victory over Hyderabad 

Kerala 

Albino Gomes, Costa Nhamoinesu, Nishu Kumar, Jordan Murray, Facundo Pereyra, Jessel Carneiro, Jeakson Singh, Rahul KP, Sahal Abdul Samad, Abdul Hakku, Vicente Gomez

Current Form: W D W W W

Previous match: 2-0 victory over Hyderabad 

Key Players 

Mumbai 

Hugo Boumous 

4 assists in Indian Football League 2020-21 

Adam Le Fondre 

5 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21 

Kerala 

Jordan Murray 

2 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21 

Vicente Gomez

1 goal and 1 assist in Indian Football League 2020-21