Match 36 Preview: Unbeaten Bengaluru face ATK Mohun Bagan in search of third consecutive win

Bengaluru FC will hope to continue their strong form when they take on ATK Mohun Bagan in Match 36 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 at the Fatorda Stadium on Monday. The Blues have won three and drawn three so far, and ATK Mohun Bagan will be tasked with ending their unbeaten start to the season.

ATK Mohun Bagan themselves are fresh off a win over FC Goa and will hope that they can contain the attack of Bengaluru FC, which has scored 11 goals in six matches so far.

“They have competitive players and are a very strong opponent for us. I know that the match between Bengaluru and ATK Mohun Bagan is a very important match. We respect the opponents and the 90 minutes will decide whether we get the three points,” ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Antonio Lopez Habas said ahead of the match.

ATK Mohun Bagan’s strike-force have been mostly subdued this season. Roy Krishna has scored five of the Mariners’ seven goals, all of which have come in the second half. Although the Mariners have just two goal scorers this season, they have the highest shot accuracy in the league (37.68%).

Habas’ side need more creativity in the middle of the park so the return of David Williams to form will be a boost. The Australian showed glimpses of his quality against the Gaurs, and will look to exploit the spaces in a Bengaluru defence that has conceded seven goals this season.

The Mariners defence meanwhile have been solid, conceding only three goals this season, and ATK Mohun Bagan will hope to keep the likes of Cleiton Silva quiet on Monday. The Brazilian winger has been one of the standout performers for his team this season. He is the joint top goalscorer for the Blues (3) alongside Sunil Chhetri and has scored with his three shots on target.

While Bengaluru’s seven goals from open play is the second highest in the league this season, ATK Mohun Bagan are yet to concede a goal from open play, making the encounter a mouth-watering one. The Mariners’ defenders are likely to have their hands full in their defensive third as well with Bengaluru having scored all their 11 goals so far from inside the box.

Bengaluru will miss Ashique Kuruniyan though, who is set for a long spell on the sidelines after suffering an injury in their previous encounter. Udanta Singh might make a return to the starting XI in his absence as the Blues look for their third consecutive victory of the season.

“I think it will be a very physical challenge. Their players are tough with big bodies and they play a high tempo game. You saw against Goa how they play as a compact team and try to take advantage of the open space. We also, after five games in 21 days, are going to get some fresh legs. The team is playing well but I also think that we need to go in for some protection and play some players with less minutes, so that we can be tough from the first moment of the game,” Bengaluru head coach Carles Cuadrat 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

Bengaluru FC

Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Lalthuammawia Ralte, Lara Sharma, Sharon

Defenders: Juanan, Rahul Bheke, Francisco Gonzalez, Ajith Kumar, Joe Zoherliana, Biswa Darjee, Namgyal Bhutia, Parag Srivas, Pratik Chaudhari, Wungngayam Muirang

Midfielders: Dimas Delgado, Erik Paartalu, Suresh Wangjam, Thoi Singh, Ajay Chhetri, Emanuel Lalchhanchhuaha, Amay Morajkar, Harmanjot Khabra, Cleiton Silva

Forwards: Sunil Chhetri, Kristian Opseth, Ashique Kuruniyan, Deshorn Brown, Udanta Singh, Edmund Lalrindika, Leon Augustin, Semboi Haokip, Naorem Singh

Live Broadcast Schedule:

Hero ISL 2020-21 Match 36: ATK Mohun Bagan vs Bengaluru FC

Date: December 21 (Monday)

Time: 7:30 PM onwards

Channels: Star Sports Network

Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV

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