Today,the two-time defending champions, three-time semifinalists, the crowd favourite home team & the city’s most loved sports icon, Dada’s owned team-ATK host their first home match of the ISL 2017/18 season against a handy FC Pune City side in the Maracana of Indian Football- Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan,Saltlake Stadium after a month Kolkata hosted the successful FIFA U-17 WC Final.
Hopes & anticipations are high on its peak on the home side,ATK as it does with any defending champion in any sport.More so as ATK’s opening match against last year’s runners up Kerala Blasters ended in a goalless draw in Kochi urging the need of a power packed performance infront of the home ground to get the campaign start off with a bang and make some headlines early into the tournament.
On the other hand,FC Pune City travel on the back of a rusty defeat of 3-2 to Delhi Dynamos FC in the home turf,Balewadi stadium.They too would like to turn things around and get into winning ways.Though that seems to be challenge against the ATK boys.
ATK captain Jordi Figueras has taken over the reigns in firm hands from last year’s ever reliant Borja Fernandes and has shown promising signs leading the defence in the first game.
While FC Pune City skipper Marcelo Leite Pereira,better known as Marcelinho,last year’s Golden Boot winner would like to lead from the front putting his scoring boots on and get past ATK’s wall,Debjit Majumder.
ATK’s biggest signing this year,star Irish legend Robbie Keane will continue to miss yet another game succumbing to the knee injury,thus hindering ATK’s attacking prowess till now this season.He,though is likely to be present in the stands during the game cheering for his teammates.Carl Baker,English attacking midfielder too will be missing this game due to injury.
Important players to look out for :-
Zequinha,Eugeneson Lyngdoh,Hitesh Sharma,Robin Singh,Jordi Figueras(C),Debjit Majumder(GK)
FC PUNE CITY : Marcelinho(C),Emiliano Alfaro,Kean Lewis,Rafa Lopez,Vishal Kaith(GK)
ATK : Teddy Sheringham
FC PUNE CITY : Ranko Popovic
Head to Head stats :-
ATK 0-0 PUNE 2 Dec,2016
PUNE 2-1 ATK 6 Nov,2016
ATK 4-1 PUNE 27 Nov,2015
PUNE 1-0 ATK 17 Oct,2015
So, let the battle begin..!!