FC Goa and Mumbai City FC are all set to lock horns with each other in the ISL 2020-21's first knockout encounter. The first leg of the semifinal clash will take place at the Fatorda Stadium in Margao, Goa.
FC Goa Preview
FC Goa continued their stellar run in the ISL, bagging their fourth straight playoff spot. They faced off against Hyderabad FC in the final clash of the ISL 2020-21 league stage and clinched a point to secure their spot.
Head coach Juan Ferrando will aim to gain the advantage over Mumbai City FC with the first leg being played at FC Goa's regular season home ground. His side are on a 13-match unbeaten streak lately and will be confident heading into the clash.
They will have a couple of concerns to take care of as the Spanish duo of Alberto Nogeura and Ivan Gonzalez will miss the match due to suspension. Mohammed Ali or Seriton Fernandes are expected to fill the backline.
Igor Angulo, Ishan Pandita and Jorge Ortiz Mendoza will be the key players in their attacking line to battle it out against the sturdy Mumbai City FC backline.
Mumbai City FC Preview
Sergio Lobera clinched the ISL League Winners Shield for the second straight year as Mumbai City FC finished atop the ISL standings. Despite finishing on the same points as ATK Mohun Bagan, they were at the summit owing to a better head-to-head record.
The final day of the league season saw Mumbai City FC defeat ATK Mohun Bagan FC by a convincing 2-0 margin. Bartholomew Ogbeche and Mourtada Fall were on the scoresheet for the Islanders as they leapfrogged the Mariners in the ISL standings.
Mumbai City FC will be glad to have their talismanic midfielder Hugo Boumous back in the fray after completing his suspension. He will likely be slotted straight into the lineup, replacing Pranjal Bhumij in the attack.
Amey Ranawade will miss the match after accumulating four yellow cards and Lobera will replace him with Mohammed Rakip in the backline. It will be interesting to see if the Spanish manager decides to play both Adam Le Fondre and Bartholomew Ogbeche together or a lone striker up front.
FC Goa vs Mumbai City FC - Prediction
WIth FC Goa set to play at their home ground, they might enjoy a slight advantage, but Mumbai City FC are a well-balanced squad.
The FC Goa midfield will have to bring their A-game to contain Mumbai City FC's attacking firepower. Due to the absence of a few crucial players, FC Goa might have a tough time in the middle of the park.
Considering the attacking pedigree of both teams, we expect both sides to finish on equal terms at the end of the first leg.
FC Goa 1 - 1 Mumbai City FC