THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Bengaluru FC pressing for turnaround as Mumbai FC stand in way

Bengaluru FC players Lenny Rodrigues, Sunil Chhetri and Nishu Kumar in training (Photo courtesy: Bengaluru FC)

Albert Roca said he hoped for a drastic change in luck to compliment the kind of football Bengaluru FC have been playing as the Blues take on Mumbai FC at the Cooperage, in Mumbai, on Saturday. Winless in five games now, Bengaluru FC have often found themselves on the short end of fortune to share points in games they should have comfortably won.

“It’s frustrating for sure to control large parts of the game and then come away with a point. But that’s football and like I have been saying, it’s important to keep any negativity away. We back the kind of quality we have and we will need to show it against Mumbai,” he said.

Bengaluru come into this game on the back of three straight draws and the Sunil Chhetri-led side will have to be more clinical with the chances they have been creating in attack if the trend has to be bucked.

The game also marks the first of the reverse legs for the Blues this season. CK Vineeth scored the first hat-trick in the club’s history when Mumbai came to the Kanteerava in January and Bengaluru will hope the striker, who hasn’t scored since then, finds form in front of goal.

Mumbai, meanwhile, are struggling with a winless streak of their own, having gone on to lose five straight games after the 3-0 defeat in Bengaluru. The Santosh Kashyap-coached side picked their first points since then after playing out a goalless draw against Mohun Bagan on Wednesday and find themselves above only Churchill Brothers on the points table.

But much has changed for Mumbai in terms of their squad since they last played Bengaluru. Four foreign singings in Densill Theobald, Djelaludin Sharityar, Alex Willian and Anderson da Silva have joined Kashyap and showed in glimpses against Bagan what they bring to the side.

“Like us, Mumbai too have been chasing a win for some time now and that is what makes them dangerous. They have even added four foreigners who look experienced and that changes a lot from the last time we played them,” said Roca.

In what is surely some respite for Roca, who has missed key players owing to injury and suspensions, central defender Juan Gonzalez has made the trip to Mumbai having served his two-game ban and will add some much needed strength to a Blues defence that has had a few weak moments in the recent past. John Johnson, however, continues his rehabilitation after fracturing a rib and will miss out on Saturday.

The game kicks off at 19.00 IST and will be telecast on Ten 2.

(Bengaluru FC)