Kerala Blasters face Mumbai City in an epic clash in ISL with the last playoff spot up for grabs. Only two games to go for both sides. A win for KBFC will almost guarantee them the fourth spot while a loss for Mumbai will make their life miserable. This is also one of the rearranged fixtures to be played after a Covid outbreak.
KBFC vs MCFC Match Details :
When: Wednesday, March 2nd
Time: 19:30 (IST)
Where: Tilak Maidan
KBFC vs MCFC Match Preview :
The Tuskers picked up a huge win in dismantling Chennaiyin FC 3-0 in the Southern Derby. The three points put them to only a point difference with the playoff places. Ivan Vukomanovic's men were in a far better place a few weeks back but Covid and injury crisis tangled them up with a tight battle for the top four. The 2-1 loss to leaders Hyderabad FC was a dagger to the chest but they made sure not to lose any more grounds to reach their target in the next one. Jorge Pereyra's return gave them a major boost with the Argentinian bagging a quickfire brace within five minutes. With a playoff rival this time out, KBFC are hoping history can repeat itself after beating Mumbai City earlier.
Another three points will be the aim considering they play FC Goa in the final game of their season with nothing to play for. KBFC can move to third place at least if the situation favors them.
Mumbai City will feel this clash even more after the defeat plummeted them from defending their Winner's Shield title. Everything is not lost as the Islanders still hold the possibility to qualify for the playoffs and eventually go to the final to win the ISL trophy again instead. With a convincing 2-0 win over FC Goa on Saturday, MCFC are currently placed at fourth with just a point lead over KBFC. Bipin Singh and Diego Mauricio were on the target for the game. They know they have to hold their position if not better it to mount another charge for the trophy. While Mumbai continues to miss the service of Ahmed Jahouh, their new signings have made a considerable impact. Apuia has stepped up even more in his absence. Apart from a close 3-2 defeat to Jamshedpur, Mumbai have been unbeaten in six of their last seven games. Four have been wins. They are looking confident again.
KBFC vs MCFC Team News :
Ivan Vukomanovic says he will decide whether Nishu Kumar and Jeakson Singh will play after the final training session. Rahul KP is also getting up to speed after making two late subs in the last two games. He spent a long time on the touchline with a groin injury.
Des Buckingham says Ahmed Jahouh needs further assessment of whether he will feature in the game. The rest are good to go.
KBFC vs MCFC Expected Lineups :
KBFC: Prabhsukan Gill; Harmanjot Khabra, Hormipam R, Marko Leskovic, Sanjeev Stalin, Sahal Samad, Ayush Adhikari, Khawlhring Lalthathanga, Adrian Luna, Alvaro Vazquez, Jorge Pereyra
MCFC: Mohammad Nawaz; Rahul Bheke, Mourtada Fall, Mehtab Singh, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy, Apuia, Brad Inman, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Cassio Gabriel, Bipin Singh, Igor Angulo
KBFC vs MCFC Head to Head :
Kerala halted a four game winning run of Mumbai City FC in a surprising 3-0 win last Dec. That sprung the team to mount a serious challenge for the Winner's Shield and later the playoffs. Alvaro Vazquez scored a belter on either side of a Sahal opener and Pereyra's penalty. Fall was sent off for Mumbai. The Islanders faltered from there.
KBFC vs MCFC Dream 11 Team Prediction :
GK: Gill (8.5)
DEF: Khabra (9), Fall (9), Leskovic (8.5),
MID: Cassio (9), Khawlhring (8.5), Apuia (8.5), Luna (9.5)
FW: Pereyra (9.5), Bipin (9.5)