Match 24 Preview: ATK Mohun Bagan eye returning to winning ways against unbeaten Hyderabad

ATK Mohun Bagan will be looking to bounce back following their first loss of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 when they face Hyderabad FC at the Fatorda Stadium on Friday. The Kolkata giants will be eager to make things right when they return to action but will be wary of a Hyderabad team that’s yet to lose this season.

Antonio Lopez Habas’ men, though, will back themselves to get the job done against Hyderabad. They will be keen to begin the match on the front foot having failed to score a first-half goal this season. All their five goals have come in the second half with Roy Krishna scoring four of them.

The Fiji international scored three goals in two matches against Hyderabad last season and he’ll want to add to that tally. Apart from Krishna, the rest of ATK Mohun Bagan’s attackers like Edu Garcia, Manvir Singh and David Williams -- who didn’t feature in his team’s last game due to injury -- also need to begin firing soon.

Defensively, ATK Mohun Bagan are yet to be breached from open play this season. Both the goals that they conceded in their last game came from set-piece situations and the likes of Tiri, Sandesh Jhingan and Pritam Kotal certainly won’t want to witness a repeat of that. Their midfielders like Carl McHugh and Javier Hernandez as well as wingback Prabir Das are integral to the shape of the team and will be hoping to put their best foot forward against Hyderabad.

"We can do fantastic work around set-pieces. Last season, we just conceded one goal from set-pieces in all matches. Now in one match, we have conceded two. I hope we improve. The opponents had good players for this situation. I have full confidence in my players and I hope this kind of situation will not be repeated,” Habas said ahead of the game.

Meanwhile, Hyderabad will head into the contest against ATK Mohun Bagan as one of three clubs yet to taste defeat in Hero ISL 2020-21. That said, the Telangana-based side will know that they must improve, especially in the final third if they are to finish in the semi-final spots at the end of the league stage. They have a goal conversion rate of 4.44% – the worst in Hero ISL 2020-21 – and need to find other avenues of goal-scoring besides the talismanic Aridane Santana, who has netted both their goals this season.

The likes of Liston Colaco and Halicharan Narzary have shown glimpses of what they are capable of while going forward, however, head coach Manuel Marquez will demand more consistency from them. Joao Victor is another important player for Hyderabad in midfield and it remains to be seen if they receive the boost of having their injured playmaker Lluis Sastre return to the team.

On the defensive front, Hyderabad have looked solid and organised in their first few outings of the campaign. The likes of Chinglensana Singh and Akash Mishra have drawn praise from fans, neutrals and their head coach, while Odei Onaindia’s experience has also proven to be invaluable for them at the back.    

“It's true that we have been doing well defensively. But we have to score more goals, that is the target. ATK Mohun Bagan is going to be difficult because they got top foreign and Indian players but we have to focus on ourselves. ATK Mohun Bagan is always going to be tough for all the teams because they have the depth and strength in every department but what's most important for us is to look at what we can do better," Hyderabad assistant coach Thangboi Singto said ahead of the game.

Squads:

ATK Mohun Bagan

Goalkeepers: Arindam Bhattacharja, Dheeraj Singh, Avilash Paul, Arsh Shaikh, Aryan Niraj Lamba

Defenders: Tiri, Pritam Kotal, Prabir Das, Sandesh Jhingan, Subhasish Bose, Sumit Rathi

Midfielders: Pronay Halder, Bradden Inman, Javier Hernandez, Edu Garcia, Carl McHugh, Glan Martins, Jayesh Rane, Michael Soosairaj, Boris Singh, Regin Michael, Sahil Sheikh, N Engson Singh

Forwards: David Williams, Roy Krishna, Manvir Singh, Md. Fardin Ali Molla

Hyderabad FC

Goalkeepers: Lalbiakhlua Jongte, Laxmikant Kattimani, Manas Dubey, Subrata Paul

Defenders: Akash Mishra, Asish Rai, Chinglensana Singh, Dimple Bhagat, Kynsailang Khongsit, Nikhil Prabhu, Odei Onaindia, Sahil Panwar

Midfielders: Abhishek Halder, Adil Khan, Sahil Tavora, Halicharan Narzary, Hitesh Sharma, Joao Victor, Laldanmawia Ralte, Lluis Sastre, Mark Zothanpuia, Mohammed Yasir, Nikhil Poojary, Souvik Chakrabarti, Sweden Fernandes

Forwards: Aridane Santana, Fran Sandaza, Ishan Dey, Joel Chianese, Lalawmpuia, Liston Colaco, Rohit Danu

Live Broadcast Schedule:

Hero ISL 2020-21 Match 24: ATK Mohun Bagan vs Hyderabad FC

Date: December 11 (Friday)

Time: 7:30 PM onwards

Channels: Star Sports Network

Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV

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