ISL 2018-19: Mumbai City hosts ATK in battle of absolute equals

Both teams have scored and conceded the same number of goals in seven ISL matches this season.

Lucian Goian has been leader in Mumbai City FC's defence during its current three-match winning streak.   -  VIVEK BENDRE

Mumbai City boasts one of the mean defences in the Indian Super League this season, conceding seven goals in seven match — the joint-best defensive record, along with ATK and Delhi Dynamos, in the league. ATK, which is missing striker Kalu Uche and on-loan playmaker Emiliano Alfaro, needs Manuel Lanzarote and Balwant Singh to fire to give itself a chance.

Both teams have an identical goal difference (seven for, eight against) heading into an eighth game face-off at the Mumbai Football Arena. The home team is on a high, chasing a fourth win in a row and is the more confident of the two teams in defence and attack.

Read: Coppell hails Lanzarote's midfield display against Pune City

Foreigners Arnold Issoko and Modou Sougou have regained their goal-scoring touch and are beginning to justify head coach Jorge Costa’s decision to sign them. The Portuguese coach will demand more goals from this African duo, apart from other forwards. Paulo Machado is yet to find the net in seven appearances for MCFC, though his passing and positioning have been of a high calibre.

Costa has found the right defensive combination, led by Lucian Goian, supported by Joyner Lourenco, Subhasish Bose, Souvik Chakrabarti and Ravi Kumar in goal. Balwant Singh, who was with Mumbai City last season, might share with his new team-mates a secret or two about his former club.