Rejuvenated Bengaluru FC face stern ATK Mohun Bagan test at home
After ending their five-match winless streak, a relieved Bengaluru FC side will set the stage for ATK Mohun Bagan’s first Hero Indian Super League (ISL) visit to the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru. The Blues had a clinic outing against FC Goa in their last match while the Mariners pipped defending champions Hyderabad FC.
After securing only their second win in seven games, Bengaluru FC will be hoping to break into the top six as quickly as possible, currently being five points behind. This is only Bengaluru FC’s third game at home this season.
In their last home game, East Bengal FC took a clean sheet and all three points from the Blues. Head coach Simon Grayson will be hoping his side replicates the performance that was put in against the Gaurs in the last game. A Javi Hernandez brace did the trick last time around, and the Spaniard is expected to start in midfield against the Mariners. Roy Krishna and Udanta Singh bagged one assist each. (Club Statistics)
“Delighted with the reaction. I mentioned before the game about the edge in training. When you suffer a defeat, as we did in Mumbai, you have to make sure there is a reaction. We worked extremely hard, and the game plan worked well,” said Grayson. “We took the chances to score at the right times, and Gurpreet made some vital saves to get the result. However, we cannot go back to not working hard because we have to improve, and now we face a tough test in ATK Mohun Bagan,” he added.
ATK Mohun Bagan will play their first Hero ISL game at a stadium where their opponents have lost just five out of 33 games. However, the Mariners come into this game with their own historical advantage of being the only side to have not lost to the Blues in the Hero ISL.
In the last game, an 11th-minute Hugo Boumous strike was enough to give ATK Mohun Bagan FC the win over Hyderabad FC. Subhashish Bose had a stellar game at the back to ensure a clean sheet for his side - the defender is set to make his 50th ISL appearance for the club and become the third player to do so. (Club Statistics)
“We are not satisfied with our position because our mentality is to be at the top of the table. Every match is important because the difference between the top six or seven teams is very small,” said head coach Juan Ferrando. “It is necessary to continue working and get three points in every match. We want to keep improving and fight till the end. We are still at the beginning of the season. Let’s see where we are next month,” he added.
The two sides have met four times in the Hero ISL. ATK Mohun Bagan have emerged victorious on three occasions, while one game has ended in a draw. The Blues will be looking to put their winless streak against the Mariners to rest when the clash next. (League Standings)