ATK FC will Seem to put the disappointing defeat to Kerala Blasters FC in their last match Supporting them with a win over FC Goa at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Saturday. Currently, three points behind the Gaurs in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 points table, Antonio Lopez Habas’ men will be happy to erase the deficit and hand themselves a boost in the race to grab the top spot heading into the final five matches of the league stage.
On 21 points from 12 outings, ATK FC are still very much in contention to finish top in what is turning out to be a close race for the top spot this season. With only three points separating the top four, each point will be vital and with both ATK and Goa in the top four, Saturday’s tie will be a potential six pointer.
Having lost their first game at home against Kerala in their last outing, the two-time champions are also desperate to re-establish their dominance on their home turf and a win over powerful Goa will go a long way in achieving that goal.
David Williams’ absence due to an injury against Kerala proved to be a significant handicap for Habas’ men, who seemed far less decisive in the final third than they have with the Australian on the pitch. It remains to be seen if Williams can go back for the Goa match and when he does, it is going to be a big boost for the home side. Roy Krishna will be tasked with spearheading the ATK attack and his duel with Goa talisman Ferran Corominas, who too has scored 8 goals this year like Krishna, will add an extra dimension to the contest.
The reverse osmosis between the two before this season at the Fatorda turned out to be an intense affair with tension running high and embers of this tie is expected to be carried forward into this match.
The Gaurs, meanwhile, will be watching out for their first-ever Hero ISL win in Kolkata. In the six matches between the sides at the venue since the Hero ISL’s inception, ATK have won one and the remaining five have been drawn. On the other hand, Goa are unbeaten in their last five clashes against ATK, winning three and drawing.
Goa has been sensational this season offensively and their tally of 25 goals is more than any other team in the league. Set pieces have played a major role behind these numbers, with 12 of the 25 goals coming from dead ball situations – the highest among all teams in the league. However, with set-piece specialist Brandon Fernandes suspended for the game, Goa may find themselves somewhat handicapped in that aspect against ATK.
But with the likes of Hero ISL’s all-time top scorer Corominas, the dangerous Hugo Boumous, Jackichand Singh, Seiminlen Doungel within their ranks, Goa will pose a formidable threat to the ATK defence, even without Brandon.
ATK FC: Arindam Bhattacharja (GK), Sumit Rathi, Agustin Iniguez, Victor Mongil, Pritam Kotal, Prabir Das, Armando Sosa Pena, Javier Hernandez, Balwant Singh, Michael Soosairaj, Roy Krishna
FC Goa: Mohammad Nawaz (GK), Carlos Pena, Mourtada Fall, Seriton Fernandes, Ahmed Jahouh, Seiminlen Doungel, Jackichand Singh, Lenny Rodrigues, Mandar Rao Dessai, Hugo Boumous, Ferran Corominas