ATK look to hand Bengaluru first away loss of the season

ATK FC will aim to make their Christmas merrier when they welcome home defending champions Bengaluru FC in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Wednesday. The two-time champions have never defeated the Blues since their inception into the league. However, both sides would be hoping to give in their all and gift their fans a jolly Christmas present by topping the standings with a win.

ATK FC

ATK are unbeaten at home this season and will hope to carry this momentum into the game against Bengaluru. ATK have scored 10 goals at home this season – the most by any team, while conceding just three. Though they enter the fixture on the back of two winless encounters, ATK would like to take maximum advantage of the home support. 

ATK’s attack has been on point this season, having netted the joint-highest number of goals (18) till date. Roy Krishna has already scored eight with David Williams and Micheal Soosairaj giving ample support behind him. It needs to be seen that in front of a sturdy Bengaluru defence, how ATK’s sharp attack performs. 

The defence meanwhile, has been a cause of worry for head coach Antonio Lopez Habas off late and with Bengaluru’s pacy attack upfront, they need to be all the more on their toes. The loss of Carl McHugh, John Johnson and Anas Edathodika to injuries in the last few matches seem to have shaken ATK’s defensive line, something that Habas need to stabilise on Wednesday.

Bengaluru FC

The defending champions have found their feet after a slow start to the season. Though Mumbai City FC ended their unbeaten streak in the league, they came back to winning ways against NorthEast United FC in their last encounter.

Bengaluru’s defensive statistics have been more impressive than their attack this season. They have conceded just five goals, the least overall and faced just 86 shots this season, the second-lowest by a side in the Hero ISL this season. Bengaluru’s defence, however, will face their toughest challenge yet when they meet the duo of Krishna and Williams. Even Gurpreet Singh Sandhu need to be at his very best against ATK.

On the attacking front, Bengaluru have been impressive in dead-ball situations, having scored six from set-pieces and need to take ample advantage of ATK’s shaken defence. This season, Bengaluru have a conversion rate of less than 20% in the seven of the nine matches they have scored and really need to work on that if they want to score one more than their ATK counterparts.

Probable Lineups

ATK FC: Arindam Bhattacharja (GK), Pritam Kotal, Salam Ranjan Singh, Prabir Das, Agustin Iniguez (C), Armando Sosa Pena, Sehnaj Singh, Javier Hernandez, Michael Soosairaj, David Williams, Roy Krishna

Bengaluru FC: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK), Albert Serran, Juanan, Harmanjot Khabra, Nishu Kumar, Erik Paartalu, Raphael Augusto, Dimas Delgado, Sunil Chhetri (C), Ashique Kuruniyan, Udanta Singh

Did you know?

  • ATK have the highest goal conversion rate (23.25%) at home this season.
  • The home side have scored just one goal against Bengaluru in the four matches they have played in the history of the Hero ISL.
  • Bengaluru are one of the four teams to have remained unbeaten away from home this season.

Fan Speak

Which club will gift their fans a perfect Christmas with a win?

Live broadcast schedule:

Hero ISL 2019-20 Match 45: ATK FC vs Bengaluru FC

Date: December 25 (Wednesday)

Time: 7:30 PM onwards

Channels: Star Sports Network

Streaming: Hotstar and Jio TV

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