Mumbai, ATK face off looking to strengthen top four credentials

Mumbai City FC and ATK FC go toe-to-toe for three points in Match 51 of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 season. The fixture will be played at the Mumbai Football Arena on Saturday and presents both outfits with a fantastic opportunity to dent the other’s top four hopes. The two teams are separated by just a couple of points going into the fixture, with ATK currently in third and Mumbai in fourth with 16 points to their name.

Historically, the match has been a close affair with neither side enjoying dominance over the other. Both units also come into the fixture on the back of wins, making the clash all the more exciting.

Mumbai City FC

Currently on a six-match unbeaten run, the Islanders are in the midst of a purple patch and arguably, are the most in-form team of the Hero ISL. Jorge Costa’s men also haven’t lost against the two-time champions in their last four Hero ISL encounters – something which will surely give them even more confidence ahead of Saturday.

Much of Mumbai’s recent resurgence can be attributed to their vastly improved form in front of goal. The club have found the back of the net on two or more occasions in five of their last six Hero ISL matches, with striker Modou Sougou also scoring for the first time this season in the last match. The two-time champions will be slightly concerned with Sougou’s form as he’s already netted three goals against them in just four appearances.

Antonio Lopez Habas’ men will be equally wary of Mumbai’s threat from crosses, with the Islanders scoring a joint league-high six goals via that route. Defensively, however, problems still persist and was quite visible in their last match against Hyderabad. Costa’s men have conceded 17 goals so far – the second-worst tally in the division and their inability to keep a clean sheet in any of their last eight matches doesn’t make good reading either.

ATK FC

Three points in the last match against Bengaluru FC strengthened ATK’s position in the top four. The two-time champions have been one of the standout teams in Hero ISL 2019-20 and will present a serious challenge to Mumbai. Their free-scoring attack, led by the lethal duo of Roy Krishna and David Williams, has scored 19 goals already – the second-best tally in the division.

Mumbai’s defence, meanwhile, isn’t the best and should give the likes of Krishna, Williams and Javier Hernandez enough encouragement on Saturday. That said, dealing with crosses themselves is something that has troubled Habas’ men recently as well, with three of their last four goals conceded coming via that avenue. The Islanders will surely look to exploit that bit of weakness and try and get at the ATK defence, which has largely been one of the best in the division so far.

Like Mumbai, the former champions also hit most of their goals in the second half of matches. The last 15 minutes is where Krishna and Co. are especially dangerous, with six of their 19 goals coming during that period. Mumbai, who’ve conceded four goals in the same duration of matches, will be aware of the fact and could look to finish off the game early rather than leave it late.

Probable line-ups:

Mumbai City FC: Amrinder Singh (GK), Pratik Chaudhari, Mato Grgic, Subhasish Bose, Sauvik Chakrabarti, Rowllin Borges, Mohamed Larbi, Raynier Fernandes, Serge Kevyn, Amine Chermiti, Modou Sougou

ATK FC: Arindam Bhattacharja (GK), Pritam Kotal, Salam Ranjan Singh, Prabir Das, Sumit Rathi, Armando Sosa Pena, Sehnaj Singh, Javier Hernandez, Michael Soosairaj, David Williams, Roy Krishna

Did you know?

  • Mumbai have scored two or more goals in seven of their last eight matches.
  • ATK have conceded nine goals, six of which have come in the second half.
  • ATK have conceded five goals from crosses – only Odisha with six have conceded more.

Fan Speak:

Will Paulo Machado’s absence hurt Mumbai’s chances of winning?

Live Broadcast Schedule:

Hero ISL 2019-20 Match 51: Mumbai City FC vs ATK FC

Date: January 4 (Saturday)

Time: 7:30 PM onwards

Channels: Star Sports Network

Streaming: Hotstar and Jio TV

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