Preview: East Bengal aim to repeat Durand Cup heroics over Mumbai City

Preview: East Bengal aim to repeat Durand Cup heroics over Mumbai City

The Red & Golds have never defeated the Islanders in the ISL.

East Bengal will take on Mumbai City in an ISL 2022-23 fixture on Friday at the Salt Lake Stadium, in Kolkata. East Bengal are coming into the game having won just three of their nine games. On the other hand, Mumbai City have been in scintillating form throughout. The Islanders are yet to lose a match and are currently placed second on the table with 21 points from nine games. A win will take them to the top.

Amid such circumstances, East Bengal are returning home after losing to Hyderabad FC 2-0 in their previous outing. In their last meeting with Mumbai City (Durand Cup 2022), the Red & Golds defeated the Islanders 4-3. They would love to repeat such goal-scoring prowess and win the game in front of home supporters. Mumbai City will be keen to avenge their Durand Cup defeat in this game. They are on a good run and are coming into the game on the back of four successive wins.

The Islanders last played against FC Goa in Mumbai and humbled them 4-1. They will clearly start the match as favourites with East Bengal yet to register a home win. In light of these, let us take a look at what the encounter has to offer.

The Stakes

East Bengal

Getting a positive result from the match is of paramount importance for East Bengal. They are currently languishing in eighth place with only nine points from nine games. In order to continue their pursuit of a top-six finish, getting points is a must for Stephen Constantine’s side. With fans expected to come in big numbers, the side would be under pressure to win the game in order to redeem their defeat against Hyderabad FC.

East Bengal are currently placed eighth with nine points from the same number of games. The side has won only three matches and lost all of the remaining six. A win will take them to 12 points, keeping them in the eighth position itself. But it will take them closer to the sixth spot which is occupied by FC Goa (15 points).

Mumbai City

A win will take Mumbai City to the top of the table. This fact alone is enough to make us understand the importance of the game for Mumbai. The competition for the coveted top position is immense. Hence, every point is vital for the teams contending to win the League Shield and get a chance to play in the AFC Champions League.

Mumbai City are placed second with 21 points from nine games. They have a game in hand over table toppers Hyderabad FC. Three points on Friday will take their tally to 24, clear of Hyderabad by two points.

Injury & Team News

For East Bengal, Jordan O’Doherty is in a 50-50 situation to start. Souvik Chakraborty is still recovering after he was suffering from dengue but might find a place in the matchday squad. Charalambos Kyriakou will there too, but his presence in the starting XI is questionable.

Mumbai City meanwhile, will miss the services of Amey Ranawade who is ruled out of the season due to an injury.

Head-to-Head

To date, East Bengal and Mumbai City have met four times in the ISL.

Played – 4

East Bengal – 0

Mumbai City – 3

Drawn – 1

Predicted Line-ups

East Bengal (4-4-2)

Kamaljit Singh (GK); Ankit Mukherjee, Lalchungnunga, Ivan Gonzalez, Jerry Lalrinzuala; VP Suhair, Alex Lima, Charalambos Kyriakou, Naorem Mahesh Singh; Semboi Haokip, Cleiton Silva

Mumbai City (4-3-3)

Phurba Lachenpa (GK); Rahul Bheke, Rostyn Griffiths, Mehtab Singh, Mandar Rao Dessai; Apuia, Greg Stewart, Ahmed Jahouh; Lallianzuala Chhangte, Jorge Pereyra Diaz, Bipin Singh

Player to Watch

Naorem Mahesh Singh (East Bengal)

Naorem Mahesh on the run against Odisha FC. (Courtesy: ISL Media)

Naorem Mahesh has been nothing short of a revelation for East Bengal this season. He has produced five assists in eight matches. In the game against Jamshedpur, all three goals of East Bengal were assisted by him. Even in a lacklustre game at Hyderabad, Naorem had his moments.

Greg Stewart (Mumbai City)

Greg Stewart in action against ATK Mohun Bagan. (ISL Media)

Greg Stewart has been one of the best players in the ISL so far. He has been highly consistent in the league with six assists and two goals. He will undoubtedly be a hindrance for East Bengal defenders on Friday’s game.

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Did You Know?

Mumbai’s Rahul Bheke played for East Bengal between 2015 and 2017.

East Bengal defeated Mumbai City in their last meeting 4-3 in the 2022 Durand Cup.

East Bengal have never defeated Mumbai City in the ISL.

Telecast

The match between East Bengal and Mumbai City will take place at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata, on December 16th (Friday). The kick-off time is 7:30 pm IST. The game will be telecasted live on the Star Sports Network. Disney+HotStar and JioTV will also stream the match.

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Source

Sports