The Pre-Quarters of Hero Super Cup 2019 will kickoff in a glamorous way as Chennaiyin FC faces Mumbai City at the Kalinga Stadium of Bhubaneswar on Friday evening.
Chennaiyin FC would be taking the field with a pinch of confidence even after their worst ISL campaign ever. After winding up the Indian Super League season, Chennaiyin faced Colombo FC in the AFC Cup Playoff Qualifiers. The team won 1-0 on aggregate after a goalless draw in the first leg at Colombo. The win is sure to have given them a temporary relief ahead of the Super Cup but doubtful whether enough to surpass Mumbai City.
CFC had their Super Cup qualifier fixture against Aizawl FC. But, Aizawl withdrew from the game and Chennaiyin FC had a walkover to the next round. Their manager John Gregory has confirmed that he will be leaving the club after the season and would be aiming to sign off with a decent performance at the Super Cup and the AFC Cup.
Mumbai City would be looking at Super Cup as a platform to rectify their semi-final mistakes from ISL. Mumbai, even after an eye-grabbing performance missed out the ISL finals. They had a day to forget when FC Goa visited the Mumbai Football Arena for the first leg of the semi-finals. They lost 5-2 on aggregate after finishing 3rd on the points table.
To wind up the good season with a cup victory would be the club's target. If Jorge Costa can keep the momentum alive after the three-week gap, they would be one of the strongest contenders for Super Cup 2019.
Chennaiyin FC vs Mumbai City: Match Information
Date: 29 March 2019
Kickoff: 8:30 PM IST
Live Stream: Star Sports Network and Hotstar
Venue: Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar
Chennaiyin FC vs Mumbai City: Team News
Chennaiyin FC is expected to keep the core of their squad the same. John Gregory would be aiming at a final test with the squad having Karanjit Singh at the goal and Eli Sabia, Gregory Nelson and Jeje Lalpekhlua having significant roles on the field. Dhanpal Ganesh is expected to make a comeback to the squad in the Super Cup.
Lucian Goian is the only foreigner in the Mumbai City squad for the Super Cup. Arnold Issoko, Modou Sougou, Rafael Bastos, Marko Klisura, Matias Mirabaje and Paulo Machado have all returned home.
Chennaiyin FC vs Mumbai City: Probable Lineups
Chennaiyin FC (4-2-3-1): Karanjit Singh, Laldinliana Renthlei, Mailson Alves, Eli Sabia, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Christopher Herd, Anirudh Thapa, Raphael Augusto, Isaac Vanmalsawma, CK Vineeth, Jeje Lalpekhlua
Mumbai City (4-3-2-1): Amrinder Singh, Sauvik Chakrabarti, Lucian Goian, Joyner Lourenco, Subhasish Bose, Raynier Fernandes, Milan Singh, Sehnaj Singh, Bipin Singh, Pranjal Bhumij, Alen Deory
Chennaiyin FC vs Mumbai City: Form Guide
Chennaiyin FC: W-D-L-D-L
Mumbai City: W-L-L-W-L
Chennaiyin FC vs Mumbai City: Head-to-Head
Chennaiyin FC: 5
Mumbai City: 4
Chennaiyin FC vs Mumbai City: Key Players
Chennaiyin FC's two vital presences against Mumbai City will be Jeje Lalpekhlua and Raphael Augusto. The latter will be assigned the duty to win possession and hold the upper hand in the midfield. Jeje, on the other hand, will have the sole duty of goal-scoring, beating a combat defence including the likes of Lucian Goian.
Mumbai City will have a target duo at the front - Bipin Singh and Pranjal Bhumij. Both the attackers didn't get many chances in the ISL. If they can get their combination going at the Kalinga Stadium, goals will be plenty and the ticket to the next round will be theirs.
Chennaiyin FC vs Mumbai City: Predictions
Mumbai City would be starting as the favourites after an impressive ISL season. However, Chennaiyin FC had regrouped for the AFC Cup Qualifiers and will have that additional advantage which they can make good use of.
Looking back, it has been Mumbai who has had a better time and is expected to continue the same way at Bhubaneswar.