Hyderabad to face a tough home challenge against ATK
ATK FC travel to the GMC Balayogi Athletic Stadium in Hyderabad on Saturday to face the bottom-placed Hyderabad FC in their Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 fixture. While the visitors will be looking to bounce back from the loss against FC Goa and grab the top position in the standings, the debutants would be hoping to forget the reverse fixture back in October, which they lost by five goals, and come back stronger.
Hyderabad will be actively looking for a victory having won a match last at the beginning of November. They have conceded the most goals this season, but injuries have been the biggest problem for the new club. However, with Marko Stankovic being the only injury concern as of now, head coach Phil Brown almost has a fully fit squad at his disposal and can expect his men to take revenge for the five-goal mauling when they meet ATK.
The return of Marcelo Pereira will be an added boost, but the Hyderabad forwards, who have found it hard to convert chances, will face a tough battle against a resilient ATK defence who have accounted for the most clearances this season. Their attack needs no introduction and the Hyderabad defence, who have conceded 17 goals this season, will need to be careful against a side who have scored in all but one of their away games this season.
The Kolkata-based side lost 2-1 to FC Goa in their last encounter, after having been in top form since their defeat to Kerala Blasters in the season opener. However, the two-time Hero ISL champions will look to take advantage of Hyderabad’s leaky defence, with Roy Krishna aiming to lead from the front and extend his lead in the Golden Boot standings.
ATK’s defence, meanwhile, will be wary of Hyderabad’s renewed attack, with Bobo and Giles Barnes having returned. With Carl McHugh, John Johnson and Anas Edathodika all injured, Salam Ranjan Singh can expect to continue with Agustin Iniguez and Pritam Kotal at the back. The young defender has been a rock in the defence and will be key against Hyderabad. He has made 21 clearances and has a passing accuracy of 71% in two matches.
Hyderabad FC: Kamaljit Singh (C) (GK), Asish Rai, Rafael Lopez Gomez, Matthew Kilgallon, Nikhil Poojary, Mohammed Yasir, Rohit Kumar, Laldanmawia Ralte, Giles Barnes, Bobo, Robin Singh
ATK FC: Arindam Bhattacharja (GK), Pritam Kotal, Salam Ranjan Singh, Prabir Das, Agustin Iniguez (C), Edu Garcia, Sehnaj Singh, Javier Hernandez, Michael Soosairaj, David Williams, Roy Krishna
Did you know?
- Hyderabad FC are the only team this season who haven’t scored first in the match.
- ATK have scored seven goals in the first half, the most by a team this season.
- Jobby Justin and Michael Soosairaj are the only two Indians who have scored for ATK this season.
Can ATK live up to the favourites tag and reach the summit of the Hero ISL table with a win?
Have your say in the comments below.
Live broadcast schedule:
Hero ISL 2019-20 Match 43: Hyderabad FC vs ATK FC
Time: 7:30 PM onwards, December 21
Channels: Star Sports Network
Streaming: Hotstar and Jio TV