Semi-final 2, First-leg Preview: High-flying Hyderabad FC look to break shackles against tough ATK Mohun Bagan
Two heavyweight teams in the 2021-22 edition of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL), Hyderabad FC and ATK Mohun Bagan, will lock horns at the Athletic Stadium in the first leg of the second semi-final on Saturday at the Athletic Stadium, Bambolim.
The Mariners come into this game after their disappointing 1-0 defeat to Jamshedpur FC, which saw them concede the League Winner’s Shield to them, ending their 15-match unbeaten run. Juan Ferrando would want his side to forget about that result and shift their focus on a tough battle against HFC.
Manuel Marquez’s men arrive in good form, winning four of their last five games. However, their recent defeats against fellow semi-finalists, ATKMB and Jamshedpur FC show that there are chinks in their armor.
These teams have played each other four times. Three of those games have been drawn and ATK Mohun Bagan has won the most recent match, 2-1.
Good news for the Mariners as Hugo Boumous has started training after missing their last few matches. However, Michael Soosairaj and Abhilash Paul are not available. On the other hand, battling Covid-19 outbreak, Hyderabad FC's medical team will take a call on the recovery of players on matchday.
Hyderabad FC: WWWLW
Marquez’s side has four victories in their previous five matches, but they have failed to register a clean sheet and have conceded eight goals over that period. They finished the season in second place with 38 points.
ATK Mohun Bagan: DDWWL
The Kolkata-based outfit comes into this game in mixed form, winning only two of their last five matches. This stuttering form resulted in them finishing third in the Hero ISL league table with 37 points to their name.
Joel Chianese: The Australian forward has stepped up in the absence of some key players in the HFC squad. Scoring a crucial goal in their 2-1 victory over Mumbai City FC, the 32-year-old will want to continue his goal-scoring form into the semi-finals.
Bartholomew Ogbeche: Ogbeche is enjoying an incredible season with HFC, scoring 17 goals from 17 games, and looks set to score the most goals by a player in a single season of the Hero ISL. Manuel Marquez would like for his main man to continue his dominance and take Hyderabad FC to their first Hero ISL final.
ATK Mohun Bagan
Liston Colaco: The Indian Winger has been in scintillating form for the Mariners this season. He has bagged 8 goals and 3 assists to his name so far and was one of the most threatening players for ATKMB against Jamshedpur FC. The 23-year-old will play a crucial role for Juan Ferrando’s side to get a positive result from this game.
Amrinder Singh: Hyderabad FC have scored nine goals from their last five games and it will be on top of Juan Ferrando’s checklist to stop this goal-scoring machine. For that, he would have to look no further than Amrinder Singh. The 28-year-old shot-stopper has kept five clean sheets this season and has the right experience in the Hero ISL semi-finals to take his side home.
Indians to the fore!
ATK Mohun Bagan have seen their Indian contingent step up to unprecedented levels this season. They have scored 19 goals and provided 10 assists in 20 matches, meaning that 50% of ATKMB’s goals this season have been scored by Indians.
Substitutes to the rescue
Hyderabad FC have seen their substitutions work to near perfection with seven goals being scored by players coming off the bench, this record is the joint-second best of any team so far. Javier Siverio has been the stand-out of those players and has scored four goals in substitute appearances.
Match Timings and Telecast
Match: Hyderabad FC vs ATK Mohun Bagan
Date: March 12, 2022
Venue: Athletic Stadium, Bambolim, Goa
Kick-off time: 7:30 PM IST
Telecast: Star Sports Network
Online Streaming: Disney+Hotstar and JioTV