Match 61: Upbeat Bengaluru FC provide tricky test for summit-chasing ATK Mohun Bagan

ATK Mohun Bagan’s bid to reach the top of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) table will face a stern test against Bengaluru FC when the two sides meet at the PJN stadium in Margao, Goa on Saturday.

Both teams come into the game on the back of five-match unbeaten runs and Juan Ferrando’s side won’t have it easy against Marco Pezziuoli’s improving Blues who thumped defending champions 3-0 in the last match.

The match will also be a clash of similar styles with both coaches quite keen on pressing from the front. Bengaluru FC have enjoyed contests against the more aggressive teams and given the two teams’ defensive records this season, there could be goals in this match.

The immediate goals of the two teams though are different as ATK Mohun Bagan who have two games in hand over their opponents can go top of the table if they win these matches. As for Bengaluru FC, a victory would put them right into the mix in terms of the semi-final race.

A win for the Blues would lift them over ATK Mohun Bagan but having played two games extra.

Form Guide

ATK Mohun Bagan: DDWWD

The Mariners haven’t tasted defeat in over a month in the Hero ISL and have been improving under new head coach Juan Ferrando having won two out of their last three matches. ATK Mohun Bagan were denied another win by a stoppage time equaliser from Hyderabad FC.

Bengaluru FC: DDWDW

The Blues thumped Mumbai City FC 3-0 in their last match and have two wins in their last three matches. Pezzaiuoli’s men are joint second on the form table in the Hero ISL across the last five matches.

Head-to-head record

The teams have met each other thrice and ATK Mohun Bagan are yet to lose against Bengaluru FC. The Mariners have two wins to their name while the other match ended in a draw. 

It was a thrilling 3-3 affair in the previous fixture this season between the two teams.

Key Players

ATK Mohun Bagan 

David Williams: The Australian scored one and assisted another in the Mariners' 2-2 draw against Hyderabad FC. With Hugo Boumous out, he is the perfect replacement to slot into that advanced midfield role and reignite his partnership with Roy Krishna. 

Tiri: ATK Mohun Bagan have struggled defensively this season and the onus of leading the improvement on that front rests on the Spanish centre-back's shoulders. ATK Mohun Bagan will have to start keeping clean sheets as the business end of the season approaches and Tiri will be a key figure. 

Bengaluru FC 

Roshan Naorem: Naorem sits at the fourth spot in the list of most assist providers this season with Greg Stewart, Ahmed Jahouh and Adrian Luna (all six assists) above him. No Indian player has more assists in the league this season than Naorem. There have been three instances of Indian players having more than five assists in a single season in Hero ISL; Brandon Fernandes (seven assists in Hero ISL 2019-20), Udanta Singh (seven assists in Hero ISL 2017-18) and Anirudh Thapa (six assists in Hero ISL 2019-20). Naorem is two assists away from equaling this record.

Prince Ibara: Ibara has scored four goals this season, with three of them being assisted by  Naorem. Two of those three assists from Roshan have come from corner kicks. The Congolese striker has attempted 19 shots this season with 10 of them being on target. He is behind Cleiton Silva for both these metrics among Bengaluru FC players.

Key Stats

Start key to result

ATK Mohun Bagan have scored the joint-most goals in the first 15 minutes of matches this season (5). Bengaluru on the other hand have conceded the joint-most goals in the first 15 minutes of
matches (5).

Bengaluru FC's set-piece weapon 

The Blues have scored the joint-most goals from set pieces along with Mumbai City this season (11). They are a threat from corners and have scored 7 goals from corners this season. No team has scored more from corners than them in Hero ISL 2021-22.

First goal important

Both teams have not lost a match this season after scoring the first goal. ATK Mohun Bagan have won 3 and drawn 3 of their 6 matches after scoring first. Bengaluru have won all 3 of their matches after scoring first

Match timings and telecast details

Match: ATK Mohun Bagan vs Bengaluru FC

Date: 15th January 2022

Venue: PJN stadium, Margao, Goa

Kick-off time: 7.30 pm

Telecast: Star Sports Network

Online Streaming: Disney+Hotstar and JioTV.

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