Talking Point: Bengaluru or ATK Mohun Bagan, who will emerge on top in the battle of steadfast defences?
ATK Mohun Bagan’s clash with Bengaluru FC at the Fatorda Stadium on Monday promises to be an exciting encounter between two in-form teams. The two sides are currently in the top four in the 2020-21 Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) standings and will be eager to keep their momentum intact with another win on Monday. Bengaluru are unbeaten this season and will be hoping to keep things that way against an ATK Mohun Bagan side that are one point above them in the standings. Here, we have a look at some of the key aspects that could decide the outcome of the clash between these two powerhouses of Indian football.
Clash between two resolute defences
Monday’s encounter between ATK Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru will pit two robust and mean defences against each other. The Kolkata giants have conceded just three goals so far and all of them have come from set-pieces. They are yet to concede from open play. The Blues, meanwhile, have conceded seven goals and kept two clean sheets so far. A side that has always prioritized a solid defence, Bengaluru’s backline is only likely to get tighter as the season wears on. They have kept 28 clean sheets in 68 Hero ISL matches, which amounts to shutouts in 41.1% of their games in the league. Both sides will have their task cut out when it comes to finding spaces as well as creating chances and the more clinical of the two teams on the night is likely to win.
Bengaluru may have finally found Miku’s replacement
It’s no secret that the Blues have dearly felt Miku’s absence in attack ever since the Venezuelan’s departure from the club in 2019. He scored 20 goals in 32 matches for Bengaluru and none of their foreign strikers since his departure has been effective to that extent. Cleiton Silva though looks like he’s about to change that having already found the back of the net thrice for Bengaluru in the ongoing campaign. The Brazilian attacker is the all-time top scorer of the Thai League with 141 goals. Top-scorer in the Thai League in the 2012 and 2016 seasons, his runs in behind the opposition defence and clinical nature in front of goal suggests that he has all the makings of a lethal goal-scorer that Bengaluru have been yearning for.
ATK Mohun Bagan need more goal-scorers
Speaking of goal-scorers, ATK Mohun Bagan must find more avenues for goals soon. They have just two goal-scorers this season in Roy Krishna and Manvir Singh, while by comparison Bengaluru have five in Sunil Chhetri, Silva, Juanan, Udanta Singh and Dimas Delgado. Roy Krishna is ATK Mohun Bagan’s leading goal-scorer this season with five strikes and chances are that if he has an off day at the office, his side may not fare well. That said, ATK Mohun Bagan have the personnel in their squad to get them goals. The likes of David Williams, Edu Garcia and Jayesh Rane have proved their goal-scoring credentials in the past and will be hoping to get on the scoresheet soon for the Mariners.