Defending League Winners Shield champions, Mumbai City FC will battle it out with Mohun Bagan Super Giant at the Salt Lake Stadium here on Monday in a match that will straightaway determine the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 League winners. Placed at the top of the table right now, Mumbai City FC have accumulated 47 points from 21 matches, having won all of their last five games. They are closely trailed by the Mohun Bagan Super Giant, who have 45 points from 21 matches. A win here will take the Mariners to 48 points, helping them beat the Islanders to the title. ISL 2023–24: FC Goa Wraps Up League Campaign With Stellar Win Over Chennaiyin FC.

Similarly, a victory for the Islanders will ensure that they lift the shield by a margin of five points. Even a draw will be insufficient for the Antonio Lopez Habas-coached side to finish atop the standings. The situation in the league currently is starkly similar to ISL 2020-21. Even back then, the fight for the League Shield had gone to the final day of the league campaign, with the then Sergio Lobera-coached Mumbai City FC edging past Habas’ Mariners 2-0 courtesy of first-half strikes by Mourtada Fall and Bartholomew Ogbeche.

While Mumbai City FC will be aiming to repeat that feat on Monday, Habas will be looking to gain revenge with a win. Keeping their attacking prowess aside, Mohun Bagan Super Giant have been faring fairly well at the back too. They have kept clean sheets in each of their last two matches, and the last time they went on a longer such streak was a run of four games from November to December 2022.

The Mariners have also scored in each of their last five home matches. Their previous best record on this front was a stretch of six such clashes from October to December 2022. In fact, their current five-game stretch is their longest when scoring multiple goals in a home game.

Mohun Bagan Super Giant (501) are one of two teams to have registered 500+ touches in the opposition box in the ongoing season (FC Goa – 591); Mumbai City FC (498) are two such touches away from becoming the third team to do so. The above facts clearly suggest that a face-off of equals is on the cards here, with abundant offensive flair and defensive discipline set to be on display in the encounter.

Mumbai City FC have held the upper hand in most of their recent meetings against Mohun Bagan. They have been unbeaten in their previous eight matches against the Mariners, having won six times and drawn twice in these games.

The Islanders seem to have the perfect fix to the offensive powerhouse that the Mohun Bagan Super Giant boast of. For instance, Mumbai City FC have kept four clean sheets in their last five away games. Before that, they had not conceded a goal in a game in four out of only their previous 14 matches on the road, suggesting a tangible recent development on this front.

Mohun Bagan Super Giant have dynamic wingers in Liston Colaco and Manvir Singh, who can be lethal with their deliveries from the flank. However, the Islanders have conceded only once from a cross this season, the lowest amongst all teams, cutting down a possible area where the Mariners could have intensified their attacks. I-League 2023–24: Runners-Up Sreenidi Deccan Earn Full Points Against Shillong Lajong FC.

With brilliant individual talent and smart tacticians at play, fans will expect fireworks in this clash and the team that executes its plans well on Monday, taking full points and also the title. Over in head-to-head clashes, Mumbai City FC have won 11 of the 24 matches with Mohun Bagan claiming six wins. Seven clashes between these two teams have ended in a stalemate.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Apr 15, 2024 04:43 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website