Match 103 Preview: ATK Mohun Bagan play Hyderabad FC in crunch tie as League Winners Shield beckons
ATK Mohun Bagan can seal the top spot with a win over Hyderabad FC in Match 103 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Monday. Both sides were victorious in their last encounter, with the Mariners beating their city rivals SC East Bengal in the Kolkata Derby and Hyderabad FC securing a 4-0 thumping win over Kerala Blasters FC.
Hyderabad extended their unbeaten run to 10 matches after their win over Kerala Blasters. They have been one of the best teams this season in both defence and attack, and this was on display in their last match. Their skipper Aridane Santana (one) as well as his Spanish compatriot Fran Sandaza (two) found the back of the net as Hyderabad continued their push for a top-four spot.
Playing against an in-form ATK Mohun Bagan side might be a daunting task for Hyderabad but Manuel Marquez’s side have shown that they are up for any challenge this season. They held Mumbai City FC to a goalless draw and even came from two goals down to earn a point against Bengaluru FC during their 10-match unbeaten run. A win will help their confidence before another crunch tie against FC Goa on the final day of the league stage which might decide their fate for the season.
“Winning gives confidence to the players. We know that every game is different. We are in a very good moment but we are playing against a stronger team in the league. ATK Mohun Bagan are finding their best moment in the league. They have a very compact team. They have very good players for the style that Antonio Lopez Habas wants to play. The team has a very good balance. We are in the last two games of the season. From now, all the games will be crucial,” Marquez said ahead of the match.
The Mariners meanwhile will arguably be playing their most important match of the league stage. Following the Islanders’ loss to Jamshedpur FC on Saturday, ATK Mohun Bagan now stand a good chance to seal the top spot and secure the League Winners Shield with a game to spare and confirm their participation in the 2022 AFC Champions League group stage. Habas’ side can also equal Bengaluru’s record of six straight wins in a Hero ISL season which was set during the Blues’ title-winning campaign in 2018-19.
ATK Mohun Bagan have shown that they can thrive under pressure after securing a comfortable 3-1 win over SC East Bengal. Roy Krishna’s form is an added advantage: the Fijian has 14 goals and four assists in 18 matches this season and is currently leading the Golden Boot race. Ably supported by Marcelo Pereira, David Williams and Manvir Singh, expect Krishna to bag a few more goals heading into the knockout phase of the league.
Hyderabad FC and ATK Mohun Bagan played out a 1-1 drawback back in December, with Krishna and Joao Victor the goal-scorers on the night. Both players bagged a goal each in their respective team’s last match as well. While ATK Mohun Bagan fight for the top spot, Hyderabad will hope to spoil their party and boost their prospects of a top-four finish.
"We have to respect Hyderabad FC. They are a good team with good players. They have had a good season. We will not be overconfident. In professional football, it is never good for the team. They have a good balance in defence and attack. They are complete in transition," said Habas ahead of the game.
Goalkeepers: Lalbiakhlua Jongte, Laxmikant Kattimani, Manas Dubey, Sankar Roy
Defenders: Akash Mishra, Asish Rai, Chinglensana Singh, Dimple Bhagat, Kynsailang Khongsit, Nikhil Prabhu, Odei Onaindia, Sahil Panwar
Midfielders: Abhishek Halder, Sahil Tavora, Halicharan Narzary, Hitesh Sharma, Joao Victor, Laldanmawia Ralte, Lluis Sastre, Mark Zothanpuia, Mohammed Yasir, Nikhil Poojary, Souvik Chakrabarti, Sweden Fernandes, Roland Alberg
Forwards: Aridane Santana, Fran Sandaza, Ishan Dey, Joel Chianese, Lalawmpuia, Liston Colaco, Rohit Danu
ATK Mohun Bagan
Goalkeepers: Arindam Bhattacharja, Avilash Paul, Arsh Shaikh, Surajit Pramanik
Defenders: Tiri, Pritam Kotal, Prabir Das, Sandesh Jhingan, Subhasish Bose, Sumit Rathi, Salam Ranjan Singh
Midfielders: Pronay Halder, Javier Hernandez, Edu Garcia, Carl McHugh, Lenny Rodrigues, Jayesh Rane, Regin Michael, Sahil Sheikh, N Engson Singh, Samuel Lalmuanpuia
Forwards: David Williams, Roy Krishna, Manvir Singh, Md. Fardin Ali Molla, Komal Thatal, Marcelo Pereira
Live Broadcast Schedule:
Hero ISL 2020-21 Match 103: Hyderabad FC vs ATK Mohun Bagan
Date: February 22 (Monday)
Time: 7:30 PM onwards
Channels: Star Sports Network
Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV