It's a fixture that's never happened before because Bengaluru FC are making their maiden appearance in the Indian Super League (ISL) with their first assignment against Mumbai City FC at their home turf in Bengaluru.
While the likes of Sunil Chhetri and Udanta are back with their parent club who are now in the ISL, Amrinder Singh and Arindam Bhattacharya also see themselves against the club he represented in the last season.
Bengaluru FC have been in good nick at the AFC Cup and knowing that a spot in the Asian Football Confederation's competition is up for grabs for the winners of the ISL, they have something familiar going on for them while Mumbai City have made it to the semi-finals in last year's ISL for the first time in the competition's history.
|Game||Bengaluru FC vs Mumbai City|
|Date||Sunday, November 19|
|Time||8 PM IST (GMT +5:30)|
TV CHANNELS & LIVE STREAM
The Star Sports Network have the exclusive broadcasting rights of the ISL. The games will be telecasted with the option of English and/or Hindi commentary over their bouquet of television as well as digital platforms.
|India TV channels||Online streams|
|Star Sports 2/HD, Star Sports Hindi 1/HD, Star Sports 3, Star Gold, Star UTSAV||Hotstar and Jio TV|
Commentary will also be available in vernacular languages across India.
|Kannada TV channel||Tamil TV channel|
|Suvarna Plus||Star Sports Tamil|
Albert Roca will miss the service of Lalthuammawia Ralte, who is set to miss at least four weeks with an ankle injury. Besides, influential midfielder Dimas Delgado has been ruled out for at least four matches after he picked up a toe injury in the pre-season friendly against Minerva FC. Zohmingliana Ralte too has been sidelined because of an injury.
Injured - Lalthuammawia Ralte, Dimas Delgado, Zohmingliana Ralte
Doubtful - None
Key Players - Sunil Chhetri, Udanta Singh, Miku
Alexandre Guimaraes is likely to be without Indian duo Balwant Singh and Aiborlang Khongjee due to injuries. India international striker Balwant Singh suffered an ankle injury during the pre-season and will possibly miss the opening tie. Aiborlang has been ruled out for at least three-to-four matches.
Injured - Balwant Singh, Aiborlang Khongjee
Doubtful - None
Key Players - Achille Emana, Rafa Jorda
The former Federation Cup champions joined the ISL this season after spending four seasons in the I-League which they won twice. Since their inception in 2013, the JSW-owned side have won all the major trophies in top-tier Indian football and also reached the final of the AFC Cup in 2016.
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu will replace injured Lalthuammawia Ralte under the bar. Sandhu ideally could have played only after five matches if all the three custodians were fit as he was signed outside the ISL players draft. But with Ralte’s knock, Sandhu is now free to start for the Blues .
Sandhu has done a good job for Bengaluru FC in the four matches he played in the AFC Cup. He kept clean sheets in both the quarterfinal legs against DPR Korean April 25 SC but conceded a sloppy goal against Myanmar in India's last AFC Asian Cup qualifier that was held in Goa.
The midfield responsibilities will rest upon Erik Paartalu and Lenny Rodrigues given that Dimas Delgado is nursing an injury while former Miku and former Mumbai City striker Sunil Chhetri would draw eyes on them in the frontline.
Meanwhile, in Lucian Goian and Gerson Veira, Mumbai City have two experienced defensive options coming back into the squad after their stint last season. The inclusions of Everton Santos, Achille Emana and Rafa Jorda are also meant to give the Ranbir Kapoor co-owned side a much more attacking demeanor.
Is Bengaluru FC going to make a winning start in the ISL or are Mumbai City gain the early momentum on Sunday?