ATK, Delhi look to end season with a final flourish

ATK and Delhi Dynamos FC square off at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Sunday in what will be the final league match of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2018-19 season. With the contest set to be both team’s final appearance of the campaign, they’ll look to bow out with a grand gesture and three points.

ATK

Despite staying in the top four race till their penultimate match in the league phase, Steve Coppell’s men never really looked convincing in their bid to claim a semi-final spot over the course of the season. The two-time Hero ISL champions’ top four ambition was constantly marred by injuries to key players at crucial junctures of the competition.

Even in their final match of the campaign, Coppell will have a few injury worries to deal with. Captain Manuel Lanzarote and forward Everton Santos missed the Kolkata-based side’s last outing against Mumbai City FC and the latter is certain to miss Sunday’s match as well. Lanza is still a big doubt for the fixture and is racing against time to get fit. In their absence, the onus will be on Edu Garcia and Kalu Uche to inspire the team while going forward.

On the defensive front though, ATK will be handed a boost with John Johnson set to come back into the line-up after missing the last match due to suspension.

Here’s a look at ATK’s current season in numbers:

Delhi Dynamos FC

After what turned out to be a disastrous start to the season, Delhi recovered exceptionally well and are currently on a six-match unbeaten run in the league. Josep Gombau’s men will be eager to extend the streak and end their season on a high.

Unfortunately for the Lions, their resurgence came a bit too late to mount any serious challenge for the top four. However, Delhi can take heart in the fact that the team has been one of the more entertaining sides to watch in the latter stages of the tournament.

The high point of their season has been the performance of their young wide players Lallianzuala Chhangte and Nandhakumar Sekar. Nandha, however, missed Delhi’s last outing against Pune due to an injury but may be back for Sunday’s match. Romeo Fernandes filled in for Nandha extremely well against Pune and is expected to be involved on Sunday. Captain Marcos Tebar was an unused substitute against the Stallions owing to an injury concern but is likely to feature against ATK.

At the back, Gianni Zuiverloon and Marti Crespi have established a solid partnership at the heart of the defence but the latter will be out with a suspension on Sunday.

Here’s a look at Delhi’s current season in numbers:

PROBABLE LINE-UPS:

ATK: Arindam Bhattacharja (GK), Gerson Vieira, John Johnson, Arnab Mondal, Ricky Lallawmawma, Pronay Halder, Pritam Kotal, Edu Garcia, Jayesh Rane, Balwant Singh, Kalu Uche

Delhi Dynamos FC: Francisco Dorronsoro (GK), Narayan Das, Rana Gharami, Gianni Zuiverloon, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Marcos Tebar (C), Vinit Rai, Romeo Fernandes, Ulises Davila, Adria Carmona, Daniel Lalhlimpuia

DID YOU KNOW?

  • If Delhi win or draw against ATK, it will extend their unbeaten run to 7 - their longest unbeaten run in a single Hero ISL season.
  • ATK have scored just 16 goals this season – the lowest in the league.
  • Delhi have won just 2 matches away from home this season.

FANSPEAK

Which defender will have the biggest impact on the match?

  • John Johnson
  • Gianni Zuiverloon

Have your say in the comments section below.

Catch the match live on the Star Sports Network, Hotstar and Jio TV at 7.30 PM.

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