Bengaluru Official Website FC Bengaluru to face Mumbai for Durand Cup glory

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Salt Lake is ready for Cracker as Simon Grayson’s blues take on the islanders, with silverware at stake

Bengaluru FC head coach Simon Grayson has said his team will remain focused ahead of the Durand Cup final against Mumbai FC, which will be held at Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan on Sunday. Undefeated, with four wins and two draws, the Blues take on Des Buckingham’s Islanders, who qualified for the top-flight clash with a 1-0 victory over Mohammedan SC in the semi-finals.

“Mumbai are a very good team with strong players who can hurt you in certain areas of the pitch. They have Greg Stewart, who was one of the best players in ISL last year, and some fast players on their flanks They play a possession-based style of football so it’s a different kind of test for us While we fully respect them and what they can do, we will continue to focus on our process and give them a lot to think about when we attack,” Grayson said, speaking to the media on the eve of the game.

The Blues finished second in Group A and advanced to the round of 16 with wins over Odisha FC (2-1) and Hyderabad FC (1-0). The Englishman added that his side would do well to profit more from their possession against Sunday’s opposition in Salt Lake.

“I think until the semi-final against Hyderabad we hadn’t been tested too much defensively. We showed a lot of character to defend the penalty area in the semi-final against Hyderabad, but we were disappointed with the way we played in possession. We want to defend as a team and give as few chances as possible, but it’s also important that we take care of the ball to create more chances,” added Grayson.

The Blues scored 12 goals and conceded five during the tournament, with striker Sivasakthi Narayanan leading their league table with four goals. Mumbai City, meanwhile, have 19 goals to their name, despite conceding ten times in the process. Lallianzuala Chhangte is the Islanders’ leading scorer with seven goals, followed by Stewart who has six goals to his name.

As the all-important final approached, Grayson conceded that he was eager to see his team put in a balanced performance by focusing on the outcome of the game. “When it comes to a final, if you can win playing any style, you’ll choose that option. I’ve been in finals in England where we had a lot less ball possession, but where “We won. It’s the most important thing in football. That said, we want to find the right balance between attacking well and being more careful with the ball to create as many chances as possible.

Kick-off at VYBK is scheduled for 6 p.m. IST and will be broadcast live on the Sports18 network, with live streaming available on VOOT Select and JioTV.

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