ATK Mohun Bagan may be comfortably seated at the Indian Super League (ISL) table, ranking second after 14 games. But there’s no denying that the former champions haven’t been at their best lately. Their fight continued against Northeast United and slipped to their third loss of the season.More football news
And as they take on Kerala Blasters at Fatorda Stadium on Sunday, they will try to rediscover their mojo and bring leaders closer to Mumbai City.
In pictures: ATK Mohun Bagan defeated Kerala Blasters in opener
In their last four games, the Mariners witnessed a dip in form, taking just one win and losing twice. Their defense has been under the pump and has yielded four goals. In their first nine games, Bagan gave in only three times, highlighting their defensive battle.
Upfront, the lack of missed opportunities continued to cost them points, with the Kolkata squad scoring only three runs in their last four games. They have scored just 13 goals throughout the season, the third worst in the league.
Fresh after acquiring the services of Marcelinho, on loan from Odisha FC, ATKMB coach Antonio Lopez Habas believes his team is improving despite recent results, but has called for a more intensive attack.
“We’ve been improving our performance and creating opportunities in the last few games, but we have to continue with the same goal,” he said. “After the first few games and the first few rounds of the competition, the team consolidated the system and the idea. Now we need to improve our attacking performance.”
On the other hand, opponents Kerala are undefeated in their previous five games and still hoping to make it to the playoffs and just four points away from fourth place.
While the form is in Kerala’s favor, it was ATKMB that came out on top when the two sides faced off in the opening game of the ISL season. For Kerala coach Kibu Vicuna, however, that result has no influence on Sunday’s game.
“It was a matter of one detail (defensive foul), not that they were better than us,” said Vicuna, last season’s title-winning coach at the then Mohun Bagan himself.
“Now the circumstances are different. ATKMB is the former champions and they are second. They have fantastic players and a good coach. It will be a tough challenge for us.”
Head-to-head: This will be their second meeting with ATK Mohun Bagan joining the ISL as a new entity following the merger of defending champion, ATK and I-League champions, Mohun Bagan. In the first leg, ATK Mohun Bagan won 1-0.
Everything you need to know about the ATK Mohun Bagan Vs Kerala Blasters Contest:
Matching: Match 78 of ISL 2020-21 between ATK Mohun Bagan and Kerala Blasters
Date: January 31 (Sunday), 2021.
Time: 7:30 pm IST
Event location: Fatorda Stadium, Goa
TV list: Star Sports 1 / HD, Star Sports 2 / HD (English); Star Sports Hindi 1 / HD, Star Sports 3, Star Gold 2 (Hindi), Asianet Plus, Asianet Movies (Malayalam); Star Sports Bangla; Star Sports Kannada; Star Sports Tamil; Star Sports Telugu and Star Sports Marathi.
Live streaming: Online streaming will be available on Disney + Hotstar VIP and JioTV.
ATK Mohun Bagan: Arindam Bhattacharja; Prabir Das, Tiri, Sandesh Jhingan; Subhasish Bose, Carl McHugh, Pritam Kotal, Javier Hernandez, Pronay Halder; Manvir Singh, Roy Krishna.
Kerala Blasters: Albino Gomes; Sandeep Singh, Bakary Kone, Costa Nhamoinesu, Jessel Carneiro; Sahal Abdul Samad, Rohit Kumar, Vicente Gomez, Lalthathanga Khawlhring; Jordan Murray, Gary Hooper.
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