Talking Point: Can Habas’ ATK Mohun Bagan do the double over Bengaluru FC?

ATK Mohun Bagan take on Bengaluru FC in Match 88 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 at the Fatorda Stadium on Tuesday. Second on the points table, the Mariners have already beaten the Blues once this season and will be looking for a third straight win to maintain the pressure on league leaders Mumbai City FC. Bengaluru, on the other hand, are unbeaten in four matches with three draws and a win. They will be looking for another favourable result to boost their chances of a top four finish and here we look at some of the talking points from Tuesday’s clash. 

Habas' strong record against Bengaluru FC

ATK Mohun Bagan’s 1-0 win over Bengaluru earlier in the campaign was the third time that a team coached by Antonio Lopez Habas got the better of the Blues. Bengaluru’s record against the Spanish head coach is not impressive, having won once, drawn once, lost thrice and conceded seven goals against teams coached by Habas, while scoring just four. Bengaluru’s only win against Habas came in the first leg of the 2019-20 Hero ISL semi-finals, which was overturned in the second leg by ATK FC as they beat the Blues 3-1.

Bengaluru have kept two clean sheets in the absence on Juanan

Bengaluru have had a leaky defence this season, conceding 19 goals in 16 matches. Spanish defender Juanan was a mainstay in their defence but he had to be withdrawn after suffering an injury in their 2-2 draw against Hyderabad. In his absence, the Blues have kept two consecutive clean sheets, first in a 2-0 win over SC East Bengal and then with a solid defensive performance in their goalless draw against Chennaiyin FC. The backline selected by interim head coach Naushad Moosa will have a major role to play against a side that has improved their attack over the last few matches.

Confident duo of Manvir and Krishna to lead the line for the Mariners

ATK Mohun Bagan showed their attacking prowess during a 4-1 victory over Odisha FC in their last match. Braces for Manvir Singh and Roy Krishna ensured that the Mariners went home with the three points. Krishna’s form will especially benefit the Kolkata giants heading into a crucial run of fixtures, with the Fijian scoring five goals in the club’s last three matches to take his goal tally for the season to 11. Meanwhile, Manvir has been among the best Indian players for his team, with seven goal contributions (4 goals and 3 assists), the joint most by an Indian in Hero ISL 2020-21.

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