Match 84 Preview: Hot on Mumbai City’s heels, ATK Mohun Bagan look for three points against Odisha FC
ATK Mohun Bagan will hope to get the better of bottom-placed Odisha FC when the two sides meet in Match 84 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Saturday. The Bhubaneswar-based club succumbed to a 1-0 loss against Jamshedpur FC in their last match which was followed by the dismissal of head coach Stuart Baxter. ATK Mohun Bagan meanwhile came back from two goals down to beat Kerala Blasters FC in their previous encounter and their head coach Antonio Lopez Habas will hope for a similar result from his team.
Odisha have just eight points from 14 matches this season, winning one, drawing five and losing their remaining eight. Having kept just one clean sheet this season, interim head coach Gerald Peyton’s first job will be to sort out his team’s defensive woes. The side have conceded 21 goals this season, and as of now only Kerala Blasters have conceded more.
However, the issues are not only confined to their defence. Their attack has been ineffective as well. Odisha’s highest goalscorer is Diego Mauricio (7) and he is followed by Cole Alexander and Steven Taylor, who have two goals each to their names. Except these three players, the side have no other goal-scorers in the team, which has been a major reason for their underwhelming performances this season.
“We had a few meetings and it’s been very, very positive for everybody connected. It brought us together. All the senior players and all the Indian players, we are getting together now. We are going to show in the last six games, a very positive attitude and a determination to win as many games as possible and take the club forward,” Peyton said ahead of the game.
Meanwhile, ATK Mohun Bagan will hope to improve their defensive performance after a strong start to the season at the back. They kept seven clean sheets in their first nine games but have managed only one in their last five. The club from Kolkata conceded two easy goals in their last match and would have gone on to lose a second consecutive game if not for a late show by their attackers.
The arrival of Marcelo Pereira as well as Lenny Rodrigues will add the much-needed experience to the Mariners. Marcelo scored his first goal of the season in their last match and began an incredible comeback on his debut for the Mariners. Lenny, who has recently joined the club from FC Goa, has 97 Hero ISL appearances to his name and will look to partner Carl McHugh and bolster ATK Mohun Bagan in the middle of the park.
“The competition in the Hero ISL means that there are no small teams. There are also special situations that when the team changes their head coach, there is always more motivation for the players. We have to play the match the same way we would have played against a strong team like Mumbai City,” Habas said ahead of their match.
Going into this match, Odisha will take confidence from their performance against the same opponents in the reverse fixture. They showed great defensive resilience for the large part of the match before conceding a late goal in injury time to lose.
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, Javier Hernandez, Edu Garcia, Carl McHugh, Lenny Rodrigues, Jayesh Rane, Regin Michael, Sahil Sheikh, N Engson Singh
Forwards: David Williams, Roy Krishna, Manvir Singh, Md. Fardin Ali Molla, Komal Thatal, Marcelo Pereira
Goalkeepers: Arshdeep Singh, Kamaljit Singh, Ravi Kumar, Ankit Bhuyan
Defenders: Steven Taylor, Saurabh Meher, Gaurav Bora, Kamalpreet Singh, Mohd Sajid Dhot, George D’Souza, Shubham Sarangi, Jacob Tratt, Hendry Antonay, Rakesh Pradhan
Midfielders: Baoringdao Bodo, Cole Alexander, Isak Vanlalruatfela, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, S Lalhrezuala, Nandhakumar Sekar, Paul Ramfangzauva, Samuel Lalmuanpuia, Vinit Rai, Thoiba Singh, Bradden Inman
Forwards: Diego Mauricio, Manuel Onwu, Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Laishram Singh
Live Broadcast Schedule:
Hero ISL 2020-21 Match 84: Odisha FC vs ATK Mohun Bagan
Date: February 6 (Saturday)
Time: 7:30 PM onwards
Channels: Star Sports Network
Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV