Monumental task awaits Jamshedpur against relentless ATK
Jamshedpur FC and ATK FC will be up against each other in a crucial Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 encounter at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur on Sunday. Both outfits go into the fixture with ambitions of their own, with the home side looking to stay in the top four race and ATK looking to seize the top spot.
In the reverse clash between the two earlier in the season, ATK emerged comfortable victors, with striker Roy Krishna bagging a brace. Historically, too, ATK have done slightly better compared to Jamshedpur in this fixture, winning two and losing just once in five previous meetings between the pair.
After clinching a terrific late win over Kerala Blasters FC, the Antonio Iriondo-coached outfit failed to build momentum and suffered a disappointing 4-1 loss at the hands of Chennaiyin FC in their last match. The defeat was the club’s joint-biggest in Hero ISL history, and will concern Iriondo, especially given the fact that their next opponent has won four of their last five matches.
To keep the former champions at bay, Jamshedpur will have to tighten up their defence, which, without Tiri, will be lacking a substantial component. Against Chennaiyin, both Memo and Narender Gahlot struggled to cope with the pace and power of Nerijus Valskis and Rafael Crivellaro. Jamshedpur fans will hope their backline puts up a sterner stand when dealing with the likes of Krishna, Javier Hernandez and potentially a returning David Williams.
Iriondo will also look to curb his team’s tendency to concede from through balls. The club have let in six goals via that route so far this season – the joint-highest tally in the division. Faced with a deadly ATK offensive unit, Iriondo may just opt to start with a back three to shore up their defensive numbers.
Locked in a three-way battle with FC Goa and Bengaluru FC for the top spot, Antonio Habas and Co. will have nothing but three points on their mind when they take the field on Sunday. The club is in terrific form and could return to the top spot with a win over Jamshedpur. Their record in the last five matches is nothing short of extraordinary, with the club also having kept four clean sheets and conceding just two goals.
The same defensive stability has been a key reason behind ATK’s success all season, with the club churning out eight shutouts in 14 matches. Goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharja has contributed heavily in that aspect, pulling off 32 saves and having a 76.19% save percentage – the second highest tally in the entire division. Defender Agustin Iniguez, meanwhile, has done his bit as well with a league-high 147 clearances in 13 matches.
ATK’s midfielders and forwards, meanwhile, have formed a telepathic understanding and will be eager to get behind the Jamshedpur defence. They’ve scored a league-high seven goals from through balls this season – the most by any team – and with Jamshedpur’s apparent vulnerability in that area, the plan will be to exploit it to the fullest. With David Williams set to return to the team after an injury layoff, the Kolkata-based side will also be a much more ruthless attacking unit on Sunday.
Jamshedpur FC: Subrata Paul (GK), Narender Gahlot, Joyner Lourenco, Jitendra Singh, Memo Moura, Aitor Monroy, Amarjit Singh, Noe Acosta, Farukh Choudhary, Sergio Castel, David Grande
ATK FC: Arindam Bhattacharja (GK), Sumit Rathi, Agustin Iniguez, Victor Mongil, Pritam Kotal, Jayesh Rane, Javier Hernandez, Prabir Das, Michael Soosairaj, David Williams, Roy Krishna
Did you know?
- Jamshedpur have lost 4 out of their last 5 matches.
- ATK have conceded just 3 goals in the first half.
- ATK have scored 14 out of their 24 goals in the second half.
Live Broadcast Schedule:
Hero ISL 2019-20 Match 73: Jamshedpur FC vs ATK FC
Date: February 2 (Sunday)
Time: 7:30 PM onwards
Channels: Star Sports Network
Streaming: Hotstar and Jio TV