ATK host free-scoring Goa in crunch tie
In what’s been billed as a match of attack against defence, ATK will host FC Goa at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Wednesday. Goa have been the most prolific team in the league this season with 22 goals, while Steve Coppell’s ATK side are known for their resolute defending. The match will also see ATK talisman Manuel Lanzarote face his former side Goa.
Despite the obvious individual quality in their squad, ATK have not reached their full potential this season. The two-time champions have looked lacklustre in attack, scoring only seven goals – the joint lowest in the league. With Kalu Uche and Emiliano Alfaro unavailable until January at the earliest, Coppell will need to look elsewhere for goals. What is more concerning is their inability to create chances. ATK have taken the least number of shots in the league (68). In their previous fixture against Mumbai City, they had just two shots on target. Lanzarote and Co. will really need to step up to the plate if they hope to overcome Goa.
However, one silver lining has been their recent defensive form. With Gerson Vieira, Andre Bikey and John Johnson covering at the back, teams are going to find it incredibly hard to break them down. The defence has amassed the second highest number of interceptions and third highest number of clearances so far. But whether they can face the challenge that Goa brings remains to be seen.
Here’s a look at ATK’s season in numbers so far.
The Gaurs have picked up from where they left off last season, establishing themselves as a free-scoring side. However, their defensive frailties are still clear for all to see, especially after their loss to Bengaluru FC last week. Goa are in pole position to qualify for the play-offs, but they will have to address their defensive concerns if they hope to go all the way.
Hugo Boumous, who has been an integral part of the attack, will be missing from action due to suspension. Hence, the onus will once again fall on the likes of Edu Bedia and Ferran Corominas to come up with the goods. Looking at their past record, a fine performance from Corominas usually results in a victory for Goa. In the 16 matches where he has scored for the Gaurs, they have gone on to win on 12 of those occasions. Stopping the Spanish magician thus should be ATK’s best bet for a positive result.
Here’s a look at FC Goa’s season in numbers so far:
ATK: Arindam Bhattacharja (GK), Ankit Mukherjee, John Johnson, Andre Bikey, Ricky Lallawmawma, Gerson Vieira, Pronay Halder, Komal Thatal, Manuel Lanzarote, Everton Santos, Balwant Singh
FC GOA: Mohammad Nawaz (GK), Seriton Fernandes, Mourtada Fall, Carlos Pena, Chinglensana Singh, Lenny Rodrigues, Ahmed Jahouh, Brandon Fernandes, Jackichand Singh, Edu Bedia, Ferran Corominas
DID YOU KNOW?
- Manuel Lanzarote, who scored 2 goals against ATK last season, will be playing against Goa for the first time.
- Ferran Corominas is just two goals away from equalising Iain Hume’s all-time Hero ISL record of 28 goals.
- Away from home, Goa has scored the joint-highest number of goals this season (9), along with Bengaluru FC.
Which Spaniard will prove to be the Hero of the Match?
- Ferran Corominas
- Manuel Lanzarote
Have your say in the comments section below.
Catch the match live on the Star Sports Network, Hotstar and Jio TV from 7:30 PM.