ATK will return to their home ground to take on a struggling Chennaiyin FC today. Both clubs have started this season on a poor note with ATK losing their first two games. Chennaiyin FC are yet to win this season, losing their first three games. The game will also see two old-school English coaches, Steve Coppell and John Gregory, go head to head.
ATK managed a win and a draw in their last two games away from home after losing their first two games. Steve Coppell has come under massive criticism, he inherited a squad with massive attacking talent and his defensive approach has not been well received.
The defending champions, Chennaiyin, failed to address some major issues from last season and it has massively let them down as they lost their first three games. They decided to let Bikramjit Singh, who was one of their best players last season, leave and an injury to Dhanpal Ganesh meant that the Blue Marines are left without a defensive midfielder for the majority of this season. The lack of a proper striker at the club has also been massively affecting the club with centre-back Eli Sabia being their biggest threat on the opposing goal so far this season.
A major concern for Chennaiyin FC will be their manager John Gregory as he had to stay in Delhi after their game due to an illness and only joined his team late yesterday. This might have affected their preparations for this clash.
Line-ups and Tactics
ATK will play with a 4-2-3-1 formation with Everton Santos likely being their central striker. Coppell will probably stick to the same XI which he used in his last two games.
Chennaiyin FC will go into the game with a 4-3-3 formation. John Gregory’s decision to play Augusto as a deep-lying playmaker against Delhi was successful as the Brazilian put in one of his best performances ever for Chennai. Andrea Orlandi is expected to be the furthest forward of the midfield three. Carlos Salom’s movement in the last two games was incredible, but his lack of quality in front of the goal might force Gregory to bring Jeje back into the starting eleven.
ATK, without doubt, will be playing on the counter-attack as they have done in all their games this season. They prefer to allow their opposition to have control of the ball, let them deep into their own half and break on the counter-attack. Considering the quality of attacking players Coppell has at his disposal it’s really strange to see him prefer an ultra-defensive style of play.
Chennaiyin FC, who are likely to have more of the ball, produced a very good performance against Delhi Dynamos on Tuesday where they put on some great attacking moves. The partnership of Raphael Augusto and Andrea Orlandi will be a big threat to the defence of ATK.
This game might be a low scoring affair considering the hardline defensive approach of both managers in the past.
Considering how desperate both the teams are for points this game will be a very close affair. I predict Chennaiyin FC will win it by a solitary goal.