Match 66 Preview: ATK Mohun Bagan square off against Chennaiyin seeking much-needed win

ATK Mohun Bagan will be eager to return to winning ways in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 after a draw and a loss in their previous two outings. The Kolkata giants will be taking on Chennaiyin FC at the Fatorda Stadium on Thursday and will be hoping to secure maximum points against the Marina Machans following a draw against the two-time champions earlier in the season.

Even though they failed to register a win in each of their past two games, the Mariners still find themselves second in the league standings. However, they need to secure maximum points soon with the rest of the chasing pack hot on their heels. The Kolkata giants boast one of the best defences in the league with seven clean sheets to show for their efforts, but goal-scoring is becoming an issue for the club.

They’ve managed to find the back of the net just 11 times all campaign with 10 of those strikes coming in the second period. Roy Krishna, David Williams, Manvir Singh and Edu Garcia are the only players from the ATK Mohun Bagan team to score this campaign. The rest of Antonio Lopez Habas’ men must also step up and show more enterprise going forward if the Mariners want to top the table.

The Spaniard must take the handbrakes off his side and encourage his players to be more expressive on the pitch. "The magic word is balance. We need to find the balance between attack and defence. Now, we have to attack more... this season, due to Covid-19, the league has been very competitive. Any team can win, draw or lose. All teams have good players. We have to control the small details. We are working to be the best," Habas said ahead of the match.

The Marina Machans, on the other hand, will head into the clash with some confidence having taken five points from their last three games. Like ATK Mohun Bagan, Chennaiyin have had their goal-scoring problems this season.

The likes of Rahim Ali, Anirudh Thapa and Lallianzuala Chhangte have chipped in with goals but the lack of an out-and-out goal-scorer like they had in Nerijus Valskis last season has blunted their attack in the ongoing campaign. Forward Jakub Sylvestr has netted just once while Esmael Goncalves is their leading goal-scorer with three goals so far.

Esmael, in fact, has looked bright in bursts over Chennaiyin’s last couple of matches and he will be hoping to have more of an impact between now and the end of the league stage. The Marina Machans must also be wary about being solid at the back, especially considering their propensity to concede second half goals and ATK Mohun Bagan’s penchant to score after the break.

"ATK Mohun Bagan is a team who stay organised and don't concede many goals. They play very good counter-attacking football with three to four good offensive players who can change the game. So, in this way, I think the game development will be different from SC East Bengal. So, our tactics will also be different," Chennaiyin head coach Csaba Laszlo said ahead of the game.

Squads:

ATK Mohun Bagan

Goalkeepers: Arindam Bhattacharja, Avilash Paul, Arsh Shaikh,

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

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

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

Chennaiyin FC

Goalkeepers: Revanth BY, Vishal Kaith, Karanjit Singh, Samik Mitra

Defenders: Lalchhuanmawia Fanai, Enes Sipovic, Reagan Singh, Eli Sabia, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Remi, Balaji Ganesan, Aqib Nawab, Deepak Tangri

Midfielders: Fatkhulo Fatkhuloev, Thoi Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Memo Moura, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Abhijit Sarkar, Pandiyan Sinivasan, Germanpreet Singh, Dhanpal Ganesh, Edwin Vanspaul, Manuel Lanzarote

Forwards: Jakub Sylvestr, Aman Chetri, Rahim Ali, Esmael Goncalves

Live Broadcast Schedule:

Hero ISL 2020-21 Match 66: ATK Mohun Bagan vs Chennaiyin FC

Date: January 21 (Thursday)

Time: 7:30 PM onwards

Channels: Star Sports Network

Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV

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