ATK Mohun Bagan vs Bengaluru FC: Experts predict the outcome of the Hero ISL Final
The Hero ISL final between ATK Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC is upon us, with the excitement building up for the spectacle in Goa.
The two teams will go all out for the ultimate prize, the Hero ISL trophy having secured their place after the intense league stages and then, the crucial playoffs. ATK Mohun Bagan defeated the reigning champions of the Hero ISL, Hyderabad FC and Bengaluru FC overcame the League Shield Winners Mumbai City FC at the semi-final stage after epic penalty shootouts.
Hero ISL experts Erik Paartalu, Phil Brown and Paul Masefield were handed the tough job of picking the winner in the final, and this is how they went about it:
Erik Paartalu's predictions:
ATK Mohun Bagan 1-1 Bengaluru FC (Bengaluru FC to win on penalties)
Playing away from the Kanteerava and the Salt Lake for these two sides might make them both feel like they are playing an away game. In reality, it's a neutral venue. The team that comes to grips with the new conditions and surroundings will get the job done.
Both teams have great form in the calendar year and it will be so tight to call. Petratos has scored in both games these sides have participated in already this year, I expect him to score early on in the game, only for BFC to find a way back. The game I think could go to penalties with BFC clinching their 2nd Hero ISL trophy.
Phil Brown's predictions
ATK Mohun Bagan 2-3 Bengaluru FC
My prediction for the final is going to be a five-goal thriller, just edged by Bengaluru FC, winning the game by 3-2.
The reason why it's going to be a high-scoring affair is that I think an early goal is going to make ATK Mohun Bagan come out and when they do come out, there will be gaps all over the pitch. There are goalscorers on the field of play and they're going to have a field day and it's going to be one of the best spectacles we have ever seen in the final of the Hero ISL.
Paul Masefield's predictions
ATK Mohun Bagan 0-1 Bengaluru FC (after extra time)
I think this season's final could be one of the best finals ever, it really could. You have got two sides who are coming into the form at the right time, Bengaluru FC have been fantastic since this calendar year. ATK Mohun Bagan have found their stride in the last five-six matches, leading into the playoffs.
I think a spectacle is definitely on the cards. If going for predictions, I'm going with Bengaluru FC in extra time. And the reason for that is that I think it'll be tight but there will be opportunities and chances. Juan Ferrando will set up his side very defensively like he did in the semi-finals. I think this is where Bengaluru FC have the edge, purely and simply from the point of view that Simon Grayson is a little bit more expansive.
The way that they play, they can defend well because they drop the wingbacks in. But when they get forwards with Javi (Hernandez), Siva (Narayanan) with (Roy) Krishna, they've got legs, they've got the pace to get behind players and cause all sorts of issues. That being said, ATK Mohun Bagan, they've got threats of their own as well. And they could cause a few problems however, I just see this one going slightly in favour of Bengaluru FC 1-0 after extra time.