Mumbai City FC and ATK Mohun Bagan vie for the title in showpiece ISL final
- Mumbai City FC have beaten ATK Mohun Bagan twice already in the league stage
- The two sides finished with an identical record, 12 wins and 4 losses and draws each from 20 games
- ATK coach Antonio Habas is the most successful manager in the ISL, having won it twice before
The seventh edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) culminates after 114 games, 295 goals, 87,811 passes and 7,307 passes with a heavyweight clash between Mumbai City FC (MCFC) and ATK Mohun Bagan at the Fatorda Stadium on Saturday.
After nearly five months of high-octane action, two of the best sides will vie for the title in India's premier football competition with both Mumbai City and ATK boasting identical records, having won 12 and lost 4 each in the group stage.
While ATK's Spanish coach Antonio Habas is the most successful in the competition, having won it twice, it will Sergio Lobera's Mumbai City going into the final as favourites, having completed the league double over the Kolkata side.
The second of those two wins came as recently as February 28 and handed Mumbai City the League Winners Shield and automatic qualification to the group stage of next year's AFC Champions League.
They sealed their berth in the final with a nervy, 6-5 penalty shootout win over FC Goa - Lobera and a number of Mumbai players' former side, with whom they lost the 2018-19 final to Bengaluru FC.
"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," PTI quoted Lobera as saying.
"We have no specific plan, only small details about the opponent. We need to work 100% on our style of play."
For MCFC, right-back Mandar Rao Dessai will miss the final with a suspension.
Meanwhile, Habas will be have to channel his near-invincible record in knockout games to overcome a fluid, attacking Mumbai side. The 63-year-old Spaniard can make history by winning his second consecutive title and his third overall.
"We have to compete and our idea is to win against our opponents. My team is prepared for winning," Habas said.
He also does not believe that the previous results will have no bearing on the final, but said his side was ready for a tough challenge.
"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 have will difficulties."
The match will also decide the fate of the golden glove and golden boot winners.
ATK's Fijian striker Roy Krishna and FC Goa's Igor Angulo are tied on 14 goals each. The golden glove race is between MCFC's Amarinder Singh and Arindam Bhattacharja, both of whom have 10 clean sheets each.
However, Arindam is leading the race for the award, having conceded fewer goals.