This preview is quite a sad one to write personally. It’s the last preview I will write for the 2017-18 ISL regular season, hopefully, I have entertained you through the season and, even though we all miss Jake writing them, we definitely don’t miss his cheesy ending line. Don’t worry, I’ll still be previewing the playoff games and Bengaluru’s journey through the AFC Cup so you won’t be getting rid of me that easily.
Anyway, let’s get straight to the Saturday night game which sees already qualified Chennaiyin play host to Super Cup dreaming Mumbai City. Chennaiyin haven’t got much to play for apart from their finishing position, which could be 2nd, no matter what Pune ended up doing against Delhi. Fater having their dreams crushed by Delhi, Mumbai will be looking for a win to leapfrog Kerala and qualify for the Super Cup, which, if they win, would lead to AFC Cup qualification. With all this being played for, let’s dive straight into the stats.
The hosts, Chennaiyin, are currently sitting in 3rd position and have already qualified for the playoffs. They will be hoping to sneak into 2nd place and leapfrog Pune. They have a decent goalscoring record in the league, scoring twenty-three goals. Their defensive record is solid, after only letting in nineteen goals this season. They come into the game in decent form, winning one, drawing three and losing one of their previous five. They are unbeaten in four and I am sure they will be wanting to keep that streak alive, heading into the playoffs.
The visitors, Mumbai, are sitting in 7th position, two points behind Kerala, who have already finished their season. A win would take them into 6th position, meaning they would qualify for the Super Cup, ahead of Kerala. They have a better goalscoring record in the league than their opponents, scoring twenty-five goals. However, their defensive record has let them down this season, after conceding twenty-eight goals over the course of the season. They head into the game in average form, losing three and winning two of their previous five. They will be hoping for a win today and they need one if they plan to play in that Super Cup.
The last time these two sides met was back in December 2017 with the game ending in a boring 1-0 win for Mumbai. The game was extremely boring, with both teams lacking that finishing touch and general quality. The only goal came from the penalty spot, through Achille Emana, on sixty minutes.
Hopefully, this time around, the game will be much better and we see a few more goals. Mumbai will be hoping for a similar result, whilst Chennaiyin will be hoping for the complete opposite.
The Game Itself…
Like I just mentioned, I hope the game is much better than their last meeting. Hopefully, the teams have gain quality and a finishing touch since that game and they produce a good game.
I think it will be a fairly evenly fought match, with both sides having the edge on the other. The game could end in the favour of either side and that’s what makes it such an interesting game. Hopefully, it can live up to the expectations.
It seems like I say this most weeks, but this is a tough one but not for the same reason. Usually, it’s because both teams have stars amongst their ranks, but this time out both teams are struggling for form.
Mumbai have a few useful players who can easily change the course of the game. On their day, both Everton Santos and Achille Emana can change the game completely and boss the midfield. Their main marksman, Balwant Singh, will always be a threat up front. I don’t like playing a single striker, but this role suits Singh perfectly.
On Chennaiyin’s side of things, you have Augusto who has been a brilliant number ten this season. Another danger man for Chennaiyin is Gregory Nelson. Probably one of the best wingers in the league, he can be deadly in all aspects of the game. However, my Key Player just has the slight edge on his teammates and opponents. This man is Jeje. He is a brilliant striker that can play all kinds of football. He can be a holding man if you want him to be, he can receive the ball to his feet and he can run off the shoulder of defenders as well. He can find the net quite well, which definitely helps as a striker.
With all this being said, I will simply leave you with this. The game will be a closely fought game that I think will ned in a 1-1 draw. If I was to pick a team to win, I would probably pick Mumbai, just because they have the bigger thing to play for, but I am definitely not ruling out Chennaiyin by saying that. I’ll see you in the playoffs, let’s hope they are half as good as the regular season.