ISL 2017/18, Match 48: Mumbai City FC vs Kerala Blasters FC, Probable XI
Mumbai City FC are ready to host the two times runners-up Kerala Blasters in their fifth home game of ISL 2017/18 at the Mumbai Football Arena in Mumbai. The previous encounter between the sides ended up in a draw with both teams scoring a goal each.
Mumbai City FC seem to have found their touch back in the league and have remained undefeated in last three games. Mumbai have been one of the strongest teams at home and have won three out of their four home games this season so far. Their only home defeat of the season came against the defending champions ATK.
On the other side, Kerala Blasters are undefeated in last two games under their newly appointed coach David James. They are coming on the back of a victory against Delhi Dynamos and will surely look to continue the momentum going into the important stage of the league.
Historically, Mumbai are one of the few sides to have an upper hand over Kerala Blasters as they have defeated Kerala twice in 7 head-to-head encounters.
Mumbai City FC
Mumbai City FC head coach Alexandre Guimaraes seems to be quite satisfied with the improvement in his sides performance lately. They have lost just one out of their last five games and have won thrice. Similar to last season, they have continued to dominate at home and will surely like to continue the same to claim a place in the top 4.
With Sehnaj Singh back from suspension, we are expecting him and Arindam Bhattacharya to replace Sanju Pradhan and Amrinder Singh in the starting XI. It will not be an easy task for the Mumbaikars to register a win against the defensively strong Blasters. The Costa Rican coach is most likely to field his side in 3-2-4-1 to control the game in mid-field and use the width of the pitch effectively.
Mumbai City FC Probable Starting XI: Arindam, Goian, Wadoo, Raju, Vieira, Sehnaj, Emana, T. Santos, E. Santos, Ruidas, Balwant.
Kerala Blasters FC
Kerala Blasters FC head coach David James believes his side has quality players and deserves to in the top half of the table. The Yellow Army managed to remain unbeaten in last two games and he is hoping for an encore. He accepts that Mumbai City are a quality side but have full faith in his players to come out victorious.
With Berbatov being injured, we are expecting Sifneos to replace him in the staring XI from previous game. If fit, we might see CK Vineeth replacing Jackichand at the right-wing position. The Englishman is most likely to continue fielding his boys in 4-2-3-1 formation to control the ball in the mid-field.
Kerala Blasters FC Probable Starting XI: Subhasish, Anto, Jhingan, Brown, Lalrutthara, Hanghal, Kizito, Pekuson, Vineeth/Jackichand, Hume, Sifneos.
Mumbai City FC 1-2 Kerala Blasters FC
Kerala Blasters under the guidance of James have found a new lease of life. This will go a long way in helping them edge out Mumbai City FC in an encounter which promises to be engrossing.