Under the new managers, Mumbai and North East fight out at Tilak Maidan Stadium, Vasco da Gama, in the Saturday encounter of Indian Football League 2020-21. Both sides failed to qualify for the playoff round last season but had positive results in pre-season friendlies.
Match Timings: Nov 21, 7:30 PM
With the new ownership this season, Mumbai is amongst the favourites in season 2020-21. Sergio Lobera has included some key players like Hugo Boumous and Mourtada Fall from Goa. Lobera led Goa to AFC Cup qualification last season and the League Winners Shield trophy. Lobera would hope to see some spark from Mohamed Larbi, one of the key players in midfield.
The Islanders signed Vikram Pratap Singh and Mohammad Rakip on a free transfer from Kerala. Mumbai also got Bartholomew Ogbeche from Kerala, who was the joint top-scorer in season 2019-20. From A-League, they signed Adam le Fondre, Hernán Santana, and Goddard. Fondre led Sydney to the A-Lague title last season and was the second-highest scorer with 20 goals. In last season, Mumbai finished at 5th, but with new prominent signings, Lobera can take the Islanders to playoffs this time. He can stick to his 4-2-3-1 formation with two potent strikers Fondre and Ogbeche.
In pre-season friendly, Mumbai won three matches out of four. Kerala held them for a goalless draw. They defeated Bengaluru and Chennai with a 1-0 margin, followed by a 3-2 victory over Hyderabad. In the last eight meetings with North East, Mumbai dropped points twice, and both games came in the last three outings.
Meanwhile, North East had a forgettable campaign in 2019-20. They finished second from the bottom with a 14-game winless streak. In two pre-season friendly outings, North East remained unbeaten as they defeated Hyderabad 2-1 courtesy of Appiah and Machado’s strikes and played a goalless draw with Jamshedpur. Gerard Nus will now take charge of this club as the new head coach.
The Highlanders will look to start the campaign on a positive note to end their losing streak. The Gold outfit has signed Portuguese winger Luis Machado, Guinean international Idrissa Sylla, and former Crystal Palace striker Kwesi Appiah. They also got full-back Ashutosh Mehta, from Mohun B. and I-League striker V. P. Suhair. The new signings can give this side a new depth.
The weak defense can hurt their campaign. In the last edition, the opponent sides kept eight clean sheets in their victories against North East. On three times, Highlanders dropped points after taking the lead. It would be a tough task for Nus’men to overcome strong Mumbai on Saturday night.
Possible Lineups & Current Form (Updating soon)
Subhasish Roy Chowdhury, Wayne Vaz, Benjamin Lambot, Gurjinder Kumar, Ashutosh Mehta, Khassa Camara, Rochharzela, Federico Gallego, Luis Machado, Britto PM, Idrissa Sylla
Pre-season friendly form: D W
Amrinder Singh, Mandar Rao Dessai, Tondomba Singh, Mourtada Fall, Sarthak Golui, Ahmed Jahouh, Rowllin Borges, Hugo Boumous, Raynier Fernandes, Adam Le Fondre, Bartholomew Ogbeche
Pre-season friendly form: W W D W
4 goals in League One 2019-20
1 goal in pre-season friendly
4 goals in Indian Football League 2019-20
15 goals in Indian Football League 2019-20
Adam le Fondre
20 goals in A-League 2019-20