A struggling ATK outfit at home will take on the table toppers Bengaluru FC on a somewhat chilly night at the VYBK Saltlake Stadium, Kolkata. ATK interim coach, Ashley Westwood will come up against his former side as the reigning champions clash up against the former two-time I-League & once Federation Cup champions in a 2nd leg of this year’s ISL.
It will again be a cagey battle of strategies between the new ATK coach, Ashley Westwood & the BFC coach, Albert Roca.
The last time they faced off, Indian talisman striker, Sunil Chhetri struck a scorcher which proved to be the winner right into the left corner past the goalie’s right. BFC sit pretty at the summit with double the points of ATK from the same number of games.
ATK, into the 13th game of the season & are still dealing with injury woes. Zequinha, the threat to every other opposition is now injured and off from the last game. Marquee Robbie Keane remains to be doubtful. New recruit Martin Paterson would look to impose himself upon into the game along with the likes of Rane, Cotterill in the wings. Robin Singh needs to step up his game against his former side and stitch in good runs into the box and pose considerable threat in the BFC defense. Such needs to be the atitude as its all a do or die now for the ATK side.
BFC side have a injury in Braulio Nobrega & Dimas Delgado remains to be doubtful for this game. They have a suspension too in Harmanjot Khabra. While these may be worrying, the reality is just the opposite. Striker Miku, Chhetri & Udanta Singh are the trio again to be feared off along with Eric Paartalu in the middle supported hand in hand by John Johnson at the back. Quality keep Gurpreet Singh Sandhu returns to Kolkata after a pretty long time since he last played here in the red & golds of Kingfisher East Bengal.
ATK has a lot to ponder upon as they head into this game having lost their last two back to back games at home while BFC travel on the back of quality win in their AFC Cup tie in Bengaluru.
Its been a hard season to digest for everyone in that red & white jersey yet they need to put their best foot forward in the remainder of the games and spoil someone else’s party along the way as the berth in playoffs look like a far off dream for ATK hereon. The reigning champions must play with pride and carry that champion swagger in their game play & prove their mettle as it’s now or never as far as the season goes !!