Talking Point: Can ATK Mohun Bagan avenge themselves on Jamshedpur FC?
Match 94 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 will see ATK Mohun Bagan in search of their 4th consecutive win when they take on Jamshedpur FC at the Fatorda Stadium on Sunday. The Mariners had lost the reverse fixture against Jamshedpur FC, which was also their first loss of the season. Since then, ATK Mohun Bagan have pushed on for a place in the top four and were finally rewarded after Friday night’s 1-1 result between Hyderabad FC and SC East Bengal that saw them become the second team after Mumbai City FC to qualify for the semis. Ahead of the ATK Mohun Bagan-Jamshedpur FC game, let’s take a look at a few talking points that could influence the outcome in a big way.
ATK Mohun Bagan begin fight for top spot
A draw between Hyderabad FC and SC East Bengal on Friday secured a top four spot for ATK Mohun Bagan, with four games to spare. With a place in the semi-finals now confirmed, the Mariners will now push to finish at the summit of the league standings, and a win over Jamshedpur will take them over current league leaders Mumbai City FC for now. With the gap between the top two teams currently being just one point, a win for the Mariners on Sunday will boost their chances of securing the Hero ISL League Winners Shield and thus booking a place in the AFC Champions League.
Jamshedpur need crucial win to stay alive in top four race
As for Jamshedpur, the side secured an important win over Chennaiyin FC in their last match, without getting a single shot on target. They have won two of their last three matches, and another victory will help them in their fight for a place in the top four. Owen Coyle’s side are only one of two teams to have beaten ATK Mohun Bagan this season (the other being Mumbai City FC) and that should give them a lot of confidence going into the game. Currently 6th on the league table, expect Jamshedpur FC to leave no stone unturned on Sunday as well in the remaining two fixtures.
Form of Nerijus Valskis is a concern for Coyle
Nerijus Valskis started the season brightly, but has failed to score in their last six matches before missing their last match against Chennaiyin FC due to injury. In his absence, Spanish striker David Grande was given a chance, and it was his attempt on goal that was deflected by Chennaiyin’s Enes Sipovic into the back of the net. It will be interesting to see whether Coyle persists with Valskis, who scored a brace against the same opponents in the reverse fixture, or play Grande, who is yet to score this season.