Season Preview: ATK Mohun Bagan look to steal other teams’ thunder

Image credit: atkmohunbaganfc@Twitter

ATK Mohun Bagan will be eager to make a statement in their first-ever Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) campaign. With Antonio Lopez Habas as their head coach for Hero ISL 2020-21, they have the most successful gaffer in league history as the Spaniard targets his third title-winning season in India’s premier football league.

One look at ATK Mohun Bagan’s team composition suggests that they will be one of the frontrunners for the league title, and it’s easy to understand why when one runs their eye over some of the names in the side. Having secured the services of most of ATK FC’s title-winning side from last season, fans of the Kolkata giants can look forward to a solid campaign from their team.

The attacking trident of Roy Krishna, David Williams and Edu Garcia will be donning the club’s iconic Green and Maroon colours as they look to build on their performances from last season. But it’s not just up front where ATK Mohun Bagan will have the benefit of familiarity on their side.

The likes of Pritam Kotal, Prabir Das, Sumit Rathi, Pronay Halder, Javi Hernandez, Carl McHugh, Jayesh Rane, Michael Soosairaj and Arindam Bhattacharja were all part of ATK FC’s title triumph last season and will know their roles better than other revamped squads heading into Hero ISL 2020-21.

Already a strong squad on paper with the aforementioned names, the addition of Tiri, Subhasish Bose and Sandesh Jhingan will further strengthen their defence. However, it’s not just their backline that they have added depth to. In midfield, the signings of Bradden Inman and Glan Martins is certain to increase competition for places, while the acquisition of Indian international Manvir Singh up front makes for a solid back-up option that will enable player rotation as far as the team’s frontmen are concerned.

With a squad stacked with stars in all areas of the pitch, finishing in the top four will be the bare minimum as far as expectations go. If truth be told, there aren’t many chinks in ATK Mohun Bagan’s armour for other sides to exploit.

Habas can experiment with several formations owing to a wealth of options at his disposal. This season he has to change tactics and players from time to time, given that ATK Mohun Bagan won’t just be competing in the Hero ISL but also in the AFC Cup. Keeping players fresh will perhaps be more challenging this season than in any other in the past but with a stacked squad and a master motivator and proven tactician like Habas in-charge, the Kolkata giants will definitely be one of the teams to beat in Hero ISL 2020-21.

To all appearances, Habas goes into the upcoming campaign with an even better squad than he had last season. The Spaniard’s team possess a bit of everything in truth. Whether it’s robust experienced defenders, galloping full-backs, defensive midfielders, creative playmakers, pacey wingers or clinical frontmen, ATK Mohun Bagan have it all and look unstoppable at present. 

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Arindam Bhattacharja, Dheeraj Singh, Avilash Paul, Arsh Shaikh, Aryan Niraj Lamba

Defenders: Tiri, Pritam Kotal, Prabir Das, Sandesh Jhingan, Subhasish Bose, Sumit Rathi

Midfielders: Pronay Halder, Bradden Inman, Javier Hernandez, Edu Garcia, Carl McHugh, Glan Martins, Jayesh Rane, Michael Soosairaj, Boris Singh, Regin Michael, Sahil Sheikh, N Engson Singh

Forwards: David Williams, Roy Krishna, Manvir Singh, Md. Fardin Ali Molla

Fixtures:

Vs Kerala Blasters FC – November 20

Vs SC East Bengal – November 27

Vs Odisha FC – December 3

Vs Jamshedpur FC – December 7

Vs Hyderabad FC – December 11

Vs FC Goa – December 16

Vs Bengaluru FC – December 21

Vs Chennaiyin FC – December 29

Vs NorthEast United FC – January 3

Vs Mumbai City FC – January 11

*Fixture list for ATK Mohun Bagan announced as of now

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