ISL 2016: FC Pune City vs Mumbai City FC - Predicted Lineups
ISL season three is up and running and today promises to be an exciting one with the third game in the tournament and the first derby. The Maharashtra derby will be played in Pune tonight, with not only three points on the line but also bragging rights.
Both the sides have yet to make an appearance in the semi-finals and have been perennial underperformers.
The two Maharashtrian teams have their fair share of problems going into the first game as the home side. Pune City suffered a double blow as marquee players, Eidur Gudjohnsen, and defender Andre Bikey are ruled out for the entire season.
Pune's new marquee player, Mohammed Sissoko has recently joined with the squad and is expected to sit out Pune's first game. India's best midfielder, Eugeneson Lyngdoh is also not available as he is part of Bengaluru FC’s squad playing their AFC Cup semi-finals.
Mumbai City also have their own problems as four of their players from Bengaluru FC are yet to join them. Striker Gaston Sangoy is also ruled out with an injury – who was expected to play a huge part alongside marquee player, Diego Forlan. Experienced goalkeeper, Amrinder Singh will be sorely missed by Mumbai as the Blues will be up against a resurgent Pune side.
Both sides are unbeaten in their pre-season games with Pune playing three games at their home stadium ahead of the first match. The Stallions are well acclimatised to the playing conditions and will look to start the campaign on a high.
Mumbai City, on the other side, will look to improve their opening day record as they have lost their previous two opening day matches.
Let's take a look at the predicted lineups of both the sides ahead of the much anticipated Maharashtra derby:
FC Pune City
Between the posts, Pune will have the experienced and two-time ISL winner, Apoula Edel. Andre Bikey was expected to be at the back for Pune this season but because of a season-ending injury, Rahul Bheke will take his place in the team.
The Stallions are expected to field an all Indian defense with Gouramangi Singh and Augustine Fernandes, the two experienced Indian defenders getting the nod ahead of the only foreign defender in their squad, Eduardo Ferreira.
The seasoned ISL midfielder Bruno Arias will partner Jonaton Lucca in midfield along with the ever improving Arata Izumi just ahead of them in a three-man midfield. Lenny Rodrigues and Pitu are Pune's other options in midfield making them one of the strongest sides in the centre of the field.
Jesus Tato or Gustavo Oberman are expected to fight for a starting place on the left with Sanju Pradhan to play on the right. Anibal Zurdo will play as the sole striker for Pune, who lack firepower in the striker's department.
Mumbai City FC
Roberto Valpato is in line for his ISL debut as the custodian for the Blues with Mumbai's first-choice keeper, Amrinder Singh out on duty with Bengaluru FC. Sena Ralte and Sehnaj Singh will probably play as the full-backs, with both the Indian players in good knick after a fine pre-season.
Lucian Goian, the Romanian defender will be partnered by either Aiborlang Khongjee or Anwar, as both centre backs are expected to play a huge role this season.
Alexandre Guimaraes is expected to play a traditional 4-4-2 formation with Pronay Halder and Kristian Vadocz to be employed in midfield. Mumbai are relatively thin in numbers in the central midfield area but have a plethora of talent in the attacking department.
Jackichand Singh, Matias Defederico and Sony Norde are some of the talented attackers that Mumbai have at their disposal. Jackichand and Matias are expected to operate on the flanks with the exciting Indian prospect playing on the right.
Diego Forlan will be joined by Sony Norde as Mumbai's forwards and Cafu could be used from the bench.