ATK, Goa clash in a massive top-of-the-table encounter

Match 38 of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 will see heavyweights, FC Goa and ATK FC go head-to-head for all three points at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Saturday. Both outfits find themselves in the top four heading into the tie, where a win would take either of them to the summit of the table. With positive results in their last matches against Hyderabad FC and NorthEast United FC, respectively, maintaining continuity will be high on the agenda of both sides.

FC Goa

The Gaurs ended their disappointing run of results with a win over Hyderabad FC last Sunday. Apart from the important three points gained from that win, head coach Sergio Lobera would have also been pleased with the performance of youngster, Chinglensana Singh. The 23-year-old brilliantly stepped up in the absence of Mourtada Fall, accounting for five clearances and a staggering passing accuracy of 94.73%. He was handed the Hero of the Match award at the end of the match, and it remains to be seen whether Lobera picks the youngster even with Fall now back from suspension.

However, the Senegalese’s presence will be a major boost for last season’s semi-finalists and is sure to help them combat the energy and pace of the league’s best attack. Edu Bedia, meanwhile, could be a key man for the Gaurs in their search to unlock ATK’s mean defence. The Spaniard is quite adept at finding pockets of space, which will prove crucial against the low block that the two-time champions employ.

ATK FC

A comprehensive win over NorthEast United FC in the last match perfectly summed up the two-time champions under Antonio Lopez Habas. In David Williams and Roy Krishna, the club have two proven goal-scorers who are just as effective in creating chances. Between them, the duo have scored 10 of the 15 goals netted by Habas’ side, and thus, are the biggest threat to Goa.

Having conceded the second fewest goals in the league so far, the ATK defence will also be equally confident ahead of the trip to Goa. The presence or absence of Gaurs talismanic forward, Ferran Corominas is unlikely to affect their confidence, which will be further aided if defensive midfielder, Sehnaj Singh is selected to play. The 26-year-old had eight clearances, three interceptions and three tackles to his name in the last match, and can prove to be the difference between a win or a loss for ATK against Goa.

Probable Line-ups

FC Goa: Mohammad Nawaz (GK), Carlos Pena, Seriton Fernandes, Mourtada Fall, Mandar Rao Dessai, Lenny Rodrigues, Ahmed Jahouh, Brandon Fernandes, Edu Bedia, Ferran Corominas, Manvir Singh,

ATK FC: Arindam Bhattacharja (GK), Pritam Kotal, Anas Edathodika, Prabir Das, Agustin Iniguez, Edu Garcia, Sehnaj Singh, Javier Hernandez, Michael Soosairaj, David Williams, Roy Krishna

Did you know?

  • Sergio Lobera is unbeaten against ATK as an FC Goa head coach.
  • FC Goa have had seven different scorers so far this season – the joint-most in the division.
  • ATK have kept three clean sheets in their last three away matches.

Fan Speak:

Will Mourtada Fall’s return aid Goa in silencing ATK’s attack?

Have your say in the comments below.

Live broadcast schedule:

Hero ISL 2019-20 Match 38: FC Goa vs ATK FC

Time: 7:30 PM onwards, December 14

Channels: Star Sports Network

Streaming: Hotstar and Jio TV

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