Bengaluru have started the season pretty close to perfection and are sitting in a strong third place, with both one and two games in hand on the teams around them on the table. Because, you know, scheduling is hard. ATK on their hand have played five games, but it was a shoddy start for Steve Coppell’s boys with two losses on the bounce to open the campaign.
Let’s start by dissecting the away side, shall we? As mentioned the Blues have had a good start to ISL V and that came thanks to Miku in the first match against Chennaiyin. The Venezuelan gave Bengaluru a narrow 1-0 win with his first-half goal.
The second match, against Jamshedpur, was a nailbiter with the guests clawing back a lead twice, the final time at the very death of the match. Sunil Chhetri gave Bengaluru a 2-1 lead in the 88th minute but Sergio Cidoncha equalised in the 90th minute for Jamshedpur to break the Bengaluru fans’ hearts.
Then, Bengaluru travelled to face Pune City and it was a good day to be a veteran for Bengaluru. First Sunil Chhetri got himself a brace in the first half before Miku really put the game to bed just past the hour mark. With that 3-0 win, Bengaluru now sit third in the table with a nice tally of seven points. A win will see them go even on points with FC Goa in second and only one place behind NorthEast who are the current table toppers.
As for the home side ATK, they lost their opening two encounters. The first one saw them get defeated in the final minutes as Kerala Blasters scored twice late on to take a 2-0 win. The following game saw hearts break late again, this time by one measly goal as NorthEast snatched a win just one minute before the final whistle. Rowllin Borges was the thief who stole the three points for the visitors.
Since then they have picked up pace with ATK being the team to capitalise on a late winner when Delhi Dynamos were beaten thanks to Noussair El Maimouni in the 84th minute. Then, like Bengaluru, they could only manage a draw against Jamshedpur.
The final match before this one, against Chennaiyin, was on Friday and it started with a bang as Kalu Uche scored after only three minutes of play and John Johnson doubled their lead ten minutes later. Chennaiyin got one back but they couldn’t catch ATK.
That means they sit fifth ahead of this game, at the same points as Bengaluru, which means they can also catch up to Goa with a win here.
So two teams who could either get left a little behind or keep up with the top pack, who will come out victorious after the 90 minutes? Get your bets in now!