Mumbai City take on ATK Mohun Bagan in the final of the 2020/21 Indian Super League on Saturday at the Fatorda Stadium. The two teams had earlier faced each other in a decisive final match of the league stage in which Mumbai won 2-0 to win the League Winners' Shield.
The two teams dominated the league stage were the first two qualify for the playoffs with 12 wins, four draws and four defeats. Both Mumbai and Bagan finished the season with 40 points which was seven more than third-placed NorthEast United but Mumbai's better goal difference helped them win the Shield.
Mumbai would take confidence from the fact that they have beaten Bagan in both their matches in the league stage. However, they only managed to edge past FC Goa in the two-leg semi-finals by a penalty shootout. This is the first time that they have reached the final but coach Sergio Lobera, and a handful of his players have been here before when FC Goa lost to Bengaluru FC in 2018-19. The team though has looked confident under Lobera.
"They (ATK Mohun Bagan) are a very good team with good players and have the momentum. But the most important thing now is to put the focus on ourselves and try to do our best. We have no specific plan, only small details about the opponent. We need to work 100 per cent on our style of play," said Lobera.
There will be few selection dilemmas for Lobera, with the exception of figuring out Mandar Rao Dessai's replacement. The Goan will miss the final due to suspension.
In the other corner, there is Bagan, buoyed by Antonio Habas' record in knockout games. He has won the final twice, including last season with ATK, and has a chance to create history by winning his second straight title and third overall.
"We have to compete and our idea is to win against our opponents. My team is prepared for winning. We have to analyse the match and control (our chances of) victory than (try to) control the way they play. The opponent will play and maybe, we will have difficulties," said Habas.
The match will also decide the fate of the Golden Boot and Golden Glove winners. While Bagan striker Roy Krishna and Goa's Igor Angulo are tied on 14 goals for the Golden Boot the race for the Golden Glove is between Mumbai goalkeeper Amrinder Singh and his Bagan counterpart Arindam Bhattacharja. Both players have 10 clean sheets to their name. At the moment, Arindam is in pole position, having conceded fewer goals.