Match Preview 30: ATK Mohun Bagan eye returning to winning ways against FC Goa

Match 30 in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 promises to be a mouth-watering contest as ATK Mohun Bagan prepare to go up against FC Goa at the Fatorda Stadium on Wednesday. Both sides are towards the top of the standings and will be eager to strengthen their position. FC Goa will take momentum into the game having secured wins in their last two outings, while ATK Mohun Bagan are winless in their last two outings and will be eager to claim maximum points.

The Mariners will be hoping to start the encounter against Goa on the front foot despite having failed to score a goal in the first half this season. All six of ATK Mohun Bagan’s goal have come in the second period and it will be interesting to see if that continues against a Goa side, which has conceded three out of their five goals so far in the second half.

A defensively resolute unit, the Kolkata giants are the only team yet to concede a goal from open play with the likes of Tiri, Sandesh Jhingan and Pritam Kotal marshalling their backline. The presence of Carl McHugh as a defensive screen in midfield has also aided the Kolkata club’s solidity and could prove to be crucial against Goa’s flamboyant playmakers in the middle of the park.

Up front, ATK Mohun Bagan boast a shooting accuracy of 37.28% – the best by a team in Hero ISL 2020-21. They’ve netted six times this season with two of them coming on the counter and two from set-pieces. Talisman Roy Krishna, who is their leading scorer with four goals, will want to return on the scoresheet after missing out in his last outing. FC Goa are the only side that he’s yet to net against in the league and the Fiji international will want to rectify that.

Manvir Singh is another player who has been in good form having netted twice this campaign and he’ll be hoping to put on a strong display against his former side. Head coach Antonio Lopez Habas will also demand more from the likes of David Williams and Edu Garcia in attack.

"I don't think only one or two players determine their [FC Goa's] performance. it's the collective effort of the team. Goa has good players and a good team, as do ATK Mohun Bagan. You can win a match by scoring goals, not with possession." Habas said ahead of the game playing down the Gaurs' superiority in possession.

FC Goa, on the other hand, will have the confidence and belief within their ranks to make it three wins in a row at the expense of ATK Mohun Bagan. After smashing three past Kerala Blasters FC, the Gaurs registered their first clean sheet of the campaign in their win against Odisha FC and they will be looking to take the game to the Mariners.

Goa seem to have found their back four with Seriton Fernandes, James Donachie, Ivan Gonzalez and Saviour Gama looking like a settled backline in their last game. Lenny Rodrigues is another important cog for Goa in the defensive midfield role, while Alexander Jesuraj and Brandon Fernandes have looked impressive whenever they have been on the pitch.

Brandon, in particular, has shone with the ball at his feet and has been a creative spark for the Gaurs alongside Jorge Mendoza, who has proven to be a handful for opposition defenders. Mendoza has netted once already but with a bit of luck could have easily scored more.  Scoring goals, though, has proven to be second nature for Igor Angulo, who is Goa’s top-scorer with six strikes. The Spanish forward is a constant threat to opposition defences and just needs a half chance to make his presence felt.

"Everybody knows that ATK Mohun Bagan is a good team. In the last two games, maybe the score was not something that was expected but for us, it's very important to pay attention because all their players have quality and they are compact on set-pieces. It's very important to find and attack the space, and when we lose the ball we have to be alert because this club is very aggressive in attack," Goa head coach Juan Ferrando 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

FC Goa

Goalkeepers: Mohammad Nawaz, Naveen Kumar, Shubham Dhas, Antonio D’Silva

Defenders: Sarineo Fernandes, Aiban Dohling, Ivan Gonzalez, James Donachie, Leander D’Cunha, Mohamed Ali, Sanson Pereira, Saviour Gama, Seriton Fernandes

Midfielders: Alberto Noguera, Alexander Jesuraj, Brandon Fernandes, Edu Bedia, Flan Gomes, Jorge Mendoza, Lenny Rodrigues, Nestor Dias, Phrangki Buam, Princeton Rebello, Redeem Tlang, Seiminlen Doungel

Forwards: Aaren D’Silva, Devendra Murgaonkar, Igor Angulo, Ishan Pandita, Makan Chothe

Live Broadcast Schedule:

Hero ISL 2020-21 Match 30: ATK Mohun Bagan vs FC Goa

Date: December 16 (Wednesday)

Time: 7:30 PM onwards

Channels: Star Sports Network

Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV

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