ATK go up against Odisha aiming for their fourth win on the trot
Antonio Lopez Habas' ATK will be on the lookout for their fourth consecutive win when they face off against Odisha FC at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium in Pune on Sunday. The tie will be Odisha's first official home game of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) but Josep Gombau's men will be playing their first three home engagements at their temporary base at Pune before shifting to their permanent home at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.
Odisha began their campaign with back-to-back losses but have recovered since, picking up four points from their last two matches - a dominating win over Mumbai City FC and a hard-fought draw against Kerala Blasters at Kochi. Striker Aridane Santana has so far been the centre-piece of the side, having scored thrice already. The Spaniard also has had good support from the likes of Xisco Hernandez and Jerry Mawihmingthanga, who have looked sharp on the attack, creating ample opportunities. The latter, in particular, seems to have flourished linking up with Santana and Xisco up front and already has three assists and a goal to his name. Santana did sustain an injury in the last outing against Kerala but with the international break in between, is expected to be fit for Sunday’s tie.
The defence will, however, be a concern for Gombau and the backline has conceded 6 in four matches already. However, the gritty performance by Carlos Delgado and Co. to register a clean sheet under pressure against Kerala in the last match will provide some encouragement to the side and Odisha fans will be hoping for a similar performance from their backline - something which is much-needed against a dangerous ATK frontline.
Following their 2-1 loss to Kerala in the season opener, ATK have gone on a three-match win streak. The entire team seems to be in form and have scored 9 goals and conceded just one in their last three outings. The first-choice front two of David Williams and Roy Krishna have been scintillating, scoring three each, and their combination up top has undoubtedly been the highlight of the team's performances so far. Edu Garcia, too, has managed to notch up three strikes to his name, despite mostly coming on as an impact sub in the last few minutes of matches. Wide players like Michael Soosairaj and Prabir Das have shown some serious attacking intent, stretching out opposition backlines, thereby providing Krishna and Williams space and freedom to work their magic down the middle.
The defence has done its job too, after looking shaky in the first match and conceding two. Since then, ATK have let in just a single goal, which came from a penalty against Jamshedpur FC in their last outing. However, despite all the positives, it is to be remembered that most of ATK's impressive stats mostly come from their home matches at Kolkata. In the two away fixtures so far, ATK lost 2-1 against Kerala at Kochi and barely scraped through with a 1-0 scoreline against bottom-placed Chennaiyin FC in Chennai - a result which could very well have been very different if Chennaiyin had managed to take their chances.
Odisha FC: Arshdeep Singh (GK), Narayan Das, Shubham Sarangi, Rana Gharami, Carlos Delgado, Vinit Rai, Marcos Tebar, Xisco Hernandez, Diawandou Diagne, Aridane Santana, Jerry Mawihmingthanga
ATK: Arindam Bhattacharja (GK), Pritam Kotal, Anas Edathodika, Prabir Das, Agustin Iniguez, Carl McHugh, Jayesh Rane, Javier Hernandez, Michael Soosairaj, David Williams, Roy Krishna
Did you know?
- Odisha have scored 6 goals so far and 4 of those have come in the first-half.
- On the other hand, of the 6 goals Odisha have conceded, 4 came about in the second-half of matches.
- ATK have conceded just 1 goal from open play this season.
Which Spanish head coach holds the edge in the tie?
- Antonio Lopez Habas
- Josep Gombau
Live broadcast schedule:
Hero ISL 2019-20 Match 22: Odisha FC vs ATK
Time: 7:30 PM onwards, November 24
Channels: Star Sports Network
Streaming: Hotstar and Jio TV