Bengaluru FC to revive rivalry with Mumbai FC

Bengaluru: Defending champions Bengaluru FC would look to build on the winning momentum of their first two matches when they take on Mumbai FC in a round three fixture of the I-League at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here tomorrow.

Bengaluru have had a perfect start scoring five goals and conceding none in wins over Shillong Lajong and Chennai City FC in their first two games.

Mumbai have also come into this match after two victories — against DSK Shivajians and Churchill Brothers. They have scored three goals and conceded one.

The rivalry between Bengaluru and Mumbai has not gone without heightened tensions in the past. The two sides had faced on and off-the-pitch ugly incidents, including bottle-throwing incident in 2015 I-League season.

Four of the six games played between the sides have ended in draws, while each side have won a game each.

Sensing a tough match ahead, Bengaluru FC coach Albert Roca said his boys were bracing for what could be their toughest challenge of the season yet against Mumbai.

“This is a team that is mentally strong after two wins.

So we are ready for a hard battle. They have enough talent to put us in trouble and they will try it. But we are ready for that,” Roca said.

Though the hosts had a flawless start, they will have to switch gears if they are to take away something from Mumbai who have always upped their game against Bengaluru.

Mumbai also have players like Thoi Singh, Siam Hanghal, Shilton D’ Silva and Karan Sawhney, who know the conditions in Bengaluru really well as they are making a return to the Blues’ fortress.

In fact, it will be interesting to note how they, especially Thoi and Sawhney, shape up tomorrow as they had been star strikers for Mumbai in their two previous games.

Mumbai Coach Santosh Kashyap is expecting a high octane match with his penchant for attacking football.

“I am a coach who loves to play attacking football and Bengaluru FC too like to come out and play and I’m sure we will have a very exciting game of football tomorrow,” Kashyap said.

For Bengaluru, midfielder Cameron Watson has completely recovered form a stomach bug that consigned him to the bench against Chennai City and there could be a small shuffle should Roca decide to start the Australian.

Mumbai, meanwhile, have come here with a fully fit squad.