ISL 2022-23: Sunday blockbuster for fans as unbeaten Mumbai City FC hosts red-hot Kerala Blasters FC
Mumbai City FC will face one of their toughest challenges in recent weeks when they host Kerala Blasters FC at the Mumbai Football Arena on Sunday to close off Matchweek 14 of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23.
When they take on Kerala Blasters FC at the Mumbai Football Arena on Sunday to wrap up Matchweek 14 of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23, Mumbai City FC will face one of their toughest tests in recent weeks.
The two league leaders in the form will square off in this matchup. Mumbai City FC is seven games into a winning streak and one victory away from setting the Hero ISL record for most straight victories.
The team has yet to lose a game this season. On the other hand, Kerala Blasters FC has gone 8 games without a loss. By the way, their most recent defeat came at home in October against Mumbai City FC.
All indications lead to an end-to-end match featuring some of the best-attacking talents in the league because the last five games between these two teams have all featured at least two goals, and none of those games have been drawn.
Lallianzuala Chhangte and Bipin Singh, Indian wingers for Mumbai City FC, who scored once again for the Islanders during their victory over Odisha FC in the previous Matchweek, will be among that talent. On a night when Mumbai City FC controlled their game even though they took their talisman Greg Stewart off early, Chhangte scored two goals and assisted on another, and Bipin also found the back of the net.
After that outcome, Mumbai City FC, who are now tied for first position with Hyderabad FC and are averaging three goals per game, would go into sole possession of the lead with a victory in this match. The two clubs have been following this pattern for more than five weeks, but Mumbai City FC may feel a little more pressure to win this weekend, considering that a loss to Kerala Blasters will reduce their lead to just two points.
Mumbai City FC head coach Des Buckingham was mostly focused on his own side when speaking in the pre-match press conference. "We don't look at the opposition too much in terms of streaks – the same we don't look at our own streak. I've spoken about making sure that we just focus on our own game, and preparing ourselves as well as we can to face what will be a very tough and challenging Kerala Blasters side," he said.
So far this season, Kerala Blasters have had a fantastic comeback story. After winning the first game of the season, they suffered three straight losses and are now hovering towards the bottom of the standings. They had already given up eleven goals in four games at that point. Since then, they've only given up five goals in eight games and their assault has been at its most fluid. Only once have they lost within this time period.
The Blasters' success has largely been attributed to the dynamic combination of Dimitrios Diamantakos, Ivan Kaluzhnyi, and Sahal Abdul Samad, who have combined for 13 goals so far. They will be determined to clear the air because their last match against Mumbai City FC was somewhat of a turning point.
"I must be honest, as a coach I like to play these kinds of games. Even a long time ago as a player, I preferred to play these kinds of games. Because these kinds of games push you to show your best level. When you compete against the best teams, you want to be the best. And this is a game where the players will not lack motivation or energy. It's something special. All the players and coaches must be happy to enjoy the chance to play this game," said Blasters head coach Ivan Vukomanovic.
The two sides have met each other 17 times in the ISL previously, with Mumbai City FC winning seven times, the Blasters winning four times, and six games ending in draws. Last season, the Blasters did the double against Mumbai City FC.