Match: Bengaluru FC vs ATK Mohun Bagan
Date: 16th December 2021
Venue: GMC Athletic Stadium, Bambolim, Goa
Time: 7:30 PM IST
After a 4-2 win over Bengaluru FC in their opening fixture against NorthEast United, Bengaluru FC’s campaign have gone downhill. The Blues are winless in their last five fixtures and have only managed a single draw in that time period. Therefore Marco Pezzaiouli will hope that the Blues turn their season around against last season finalists ATK Mohun Bagan.
Marco Pezzaiouli received a grand welcome in the Indian Super League with a 4-2 mauling of Northeast United. However, since then they have not reached that level in any of their last five matches. After the opening fixture, they lost 3-1 against Odisha FC followed by a 1-1 draw against rivals Kerala Blasters. They started really well against league leaders Mumbai City FC before losing out their grip on the game. They eventually lost 3-1 against Mumbai City followed by two scrappy losses against Hyderabad FC and FC Goa.
ATK Mohun Bagan have also had a similar fate in this season’s ISL as they started with a 4-2 win against Kerala Blasters followed by a rampant 3-0 win over their arch-rivals SC East Bengal in the historic Kolkata Derby. Their 5-1 defeat to Mumbai City have deflated their morale. Since then the Mariners have struggled to register wins and the cohesion which was there at the start of the season has gone missing. The Green and Maroons followed the Mumbai City game with another loss against Jamshedpur FC. They have had a miny comeback with a 1-1 draw against Chennaiyin FC. Overall the team is looking out of shape and that sync for which Anotnio Habas’ is known has gone missing in the last couple of games.
Habas settled for a stalemate in the game against Chennaiyin FC but the Spanish tactician will be eager to get back to winning ways against a low spirit Bengaluru FC side. ATK Mohun Bagan were considered as one of the favourites for this season but their last few performances have been far from their expected level or potential. With playoffs spots up for grabs, Habas will have to sort out the problems as early as possible.
Bengaluru FC: WLDLLL
ATK Mohun Bagan: WWLLD
Bengaluru FC will miss the likes of Yrondu Musavu-King and Suresh Wangjam for this match against ATK Mohun Bagan. Musavu-King is ruled out till January whereas Suresh Wangjam is suspended after collecting a red card in the last fixture against FC Goa.
So we can expect Alan Costa to lead the backline along with Pratik Chaudhuri at the heart of the defence. Roshan Singh mostly will start on the right flank whereas there are questions over Ashique Kuruniyan’s form in the left-back position. Danish Farooq may replace Suresh Wangjam in the middle and he will be partnered with Jayesh Rane and Bruno Ramires. Pezzaiouli needs to take a call on Sunil Chhetri, the Indian skipper has had a poor spell of form this season and a break may help the veteran get back to his best. Cleiton Silva remains their shining beacon upfront.
Antonio Habas on the other hand have everyone available for this game. Spanish defender Tiri has returned to the starting eleven, providing stability to the backline. Meanwhile, Habas needs his star players like Hugo Boumous and Roy Krishna to click. If the duo gets back to their best form then the Mariners will be a dominant force going forward.
Liston Colaco has been the shining light for the Mariners this season and the young winger will look to carry that form to future matches. He has scored three goals this season and has also notched up an assist. Habas will hope that Liston continues his fiery form.
Bengaluru FC : Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK), Naorem Roshan Singh, Pratik Chaudhari, Alan Costa, Ashique Kuruniyan, Danish Farooq, Bruno Ramires, Jayesh Rane, Prince Ibara, Sunil Chhetri, Cleiton Silva.
ATK Mohun Bagan: Amrinder Singh (GK); Pritam Kotal, Tiri, Subhasish Bose, Manvir Singh, Lenny Rodrigues, Carl McHugh, Deepak Tangri, Joni Kauko, Liston Colaco, Roy Krishna.
Krishna will look to lead the lines for ATK Mohun Bagan and his goalscoring prowess has made him a stalwart in Indian football. However, the Fijian has not been at his best this season. His movements have not looked the best this season and even the goals have dried up. However, the 32-year-old has the potential and the skill to overcome the rough patch and return stronger than ever. A goal against Bengaluru will surely give him the confidence to turn his season around.
The young Goan has been a trailblazer for the Mariners this season and Habas will hope that Liston will continue scoring goals this season. He has already notched up three goals this season along with an assist. Liston has quick feet and a great ability to take on defenders on will. His shooting technique and vision to find spaces in the final third has made him a star for the Green and Maroons this season.
Captain and Vice-Captain picks
Roy Krishna will look to turn up against the Blues and help the Mariners get back to winning ways. Hence he is our captaincy pick. Meanwhile Liston Colaco will continue this fiery form for ATK Mohun Bagan. The young winger will take up the vice-captain role.