Match Preview – Al-Hilal face Mumbai City FC in the AFC Champions League


Saudi Arabian team Al-Hilal will host Mumbai City FC in one of the most anticipated games in the AFC Champions League. After a heavy spending spree that saw them sign the likes of Neymar Jr., Aleksandr Mitrovic, and Reuben Neves, Al-Hilal find themselves in great form this season. Hence, when they face Mumbai City on October 23rd, they would bank on this form to register a victory over MCFC and continue their fine form this season.

On the other hand, Mumbai City FC have had mixed results until now. While domestically, the team has been a force to reckon with, Mumbai’s struggle in Asia’s premiere cup competition is worrying to its fans. Regardless, when the team takes on Al-Hilal, along with MCFC fans, the entire India will be cheering them on.

Recent form of Al-Hilal and Mumbai City FC

Currently, Al-Hilal are having one of their best seasons ever. In ten league games, the Saudi side has won eight and drawn two, which has placed them in first position in the league. The team has also carried this form into the AFC Champions League. They are on top of group D in Asia’s biggest club competition. Naturally, Al-Hilal’s investments have worked for them, and given the amount they invested, the team would want to win the Champions League.

While Mumbai City is in second place in the ISL, the last five games haven’t been their best. The Islanders have achieved mixed results, which have raised several concerns about how the team would fare against Al-Hilal. Mainly because while the team’s attack has been decent, Mumbai’s defence has been leaking goals. Regardless, given the break in between, Des Buckingham and his men have had enough time to strengthen what isn’t working for them.

Team News

Al-Hilal players paying a tribute to the injured Neymar
Al-Hilal players paying a tribute to the injured Neymar

Al-Hilal: Ahead of this vital AFC Champions League game, Al-Hilal manager Jorge Jesus will be one happy man since he has multiple options when he sits to select his starting eleven. However, the biggest blow to the Saudi-based club would be Neymar’s absence. The Brazilian attacker picked up an injury during international duty and will be out for a while.

Mumbai City FC: When compared, Mumbai City gaffer Des Buckingham will be happier, given all his players are perfectly fit for the clash with Al-Hilal. This means the English manager can field his best eleven against what is arguably Saudi Arabia’s best football team as of now.

Predicted Lineup

Al-Hilal – Bono, S. Abdulhamid, K. Koulibaly, A. Al Bulaihi, Y. Al-Shahrani, S. Milinkovic-Savic, R. Neves, Michael, Malcom, S. Al-Dawsari, A. Mitrovic

Mumbai City FC – P. Lachenpa, R. Bheke, R. Griffiths, M. Singh, A. Mishra, L. Ralte, Y. van Nieff, G. Stewart, L. Chhangte, J. Diaz, B. Singh

Match Prediction

Mumbai City FC players in training for the game against Al-Hilal
Mumbai City FC players in training for the game against Al-Hilal

When one examines the results based on recent form and gameplay, it would be safe to say Al-Hilal would walk out winning this game. After all, the club would also be playing at home, which would be a massive advantage. Aleksandr Mitrovic will be heading the Saudi-based team’s attack, which will be vital for them. However, along with a great attack and plenty of goals, Al-Hilal has a strong defence led by former Chelsea centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly. The Saudi-based team is a favourite to win due to such factors.

Coming to Mumbai City FC, they must not give up hope. If anything, football over the years, has been known for several upsets. The country Mumbai City FC will play in on October 23 is the same country that upset Argentina in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Hence, to achieve a positive result, The Islanders must play Al-Hilal without fear. While a win might be difficult to register, even a draw would help the morale of MCFC players.

How and where to watch the game?

The telecast of the upcoming game between Mumbai City FC and Al Hilal will be available on the Sports18 TV Channel on September 23, 11:30 PM. Live streaming will be available on the FanCode app and website in India.

Follow IFTWC for the latest updates on Indian Football.

Varun Anand Bhat
Varun Anand Bhat
Varun Anand Bhat is a Sports Journalist with three years of experience under his belt. Throughout his career, Varun has covered several sports, but football remains his specialty. Having played the sport, Varun has the ability to analyze and write about games. He also has immense love and passion for Indian Football.

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