ATK will play their 4th away fixture out of 5 games, of which this would be their 3rd consecutive away game since the sole loss at home. They face the fifth placed side in this year’s ISL League Table- Mumbai City FC with 7 points from 5 games till now, in their backyard at the Mumbai Football Arena on a double header Sunday evening.
Having stayed winless for the first 4 games of the new season,the defending champions are in a huge spot of bother with back to back disappointing performances on the trot. They have managed to salvage only 2 points out of 4 games till now with drawn affairs against Kerala Blasters and newbies Jamshedpur FC. Therefore they have now ended up languishing in the bottom of the ISL table.
While Mumbai City are fresh off a win against Chennaiyin FC, they wouldn’t like to let go off the momentum and would love to continue their winning streak facing the fragile ATK side off late who has only managed to beat the home side only once and that too two seasons ago. ATK, on the other hand would like to change that stat and get a win in their pre-Christmas bag as they return home after this fixture.
ATK can imbibe confidence from the fact that their key players have finally put on their scoring boots, as the likes of Zequinha & Njazi Kuqi scored goals for them in their previous encounter versus Chennaiyin FC. And also the fact that Irish legend, Robbie Keane is back into the side fully fit as he can prove to be a menace inside the box even at this age. Keane’s addition will surely bolster the attacking front of the playing XI.
ATK side will also be keeping a keen eye on their new signing of ex- Newcastle United player Ryan Taylor in place of the ruled out injured Carl Baker. Jayesh Rane is also looking to make an appearance into the side post injury following Ashutosh Mehta who also was available and did make appearance in the later half of the 2nd half. Teen sensation, Indian U-17 talent Komal Thatal too has been in the reckoning and will soon be completing the formalities with the ATK management and one may never know, he can be one hell of an addition into the ATK squad.
So signs are pretty good for ATK into the leadup, all they now need is a win keeping aside the injury list which still includes Eugeneson Lyngdoh.
Mumbai City FC are a pretty threatening attacking side keeping their focus upon Indian striker Balwant Singh to provide the impetus as foreign recruit Rafa Jorda lead their line with Thiago Santos on the right wing. Alexandre Guimaraes coached MFC side will look to play their attacking brand of football as Wadoo along with the likes of Ruidas, Davinder and Amrinder in the goal would like to keep ATK at bay on a regular basis.
For ATK to be triumphant finally, coach Teddy Sheringham has to play all his cards shrewdly or else another loss of points can easily cost him his place of authority in the side for the rest of the season. Teddy has always backed Finnish striker Kuqi upfront and goalie Debjit in the back even after repeated failures, it would be interesting to note what plans the coach have for this game. The key players would continue to be Zequinha,Bipin,Figueras and Keane for ATK inorder to finally hurl the ATK flag high up in the sky with joy just like the Blasters managed to do two nights back with their first win in the league.
So its going to be an enticing match up just like the lead up to it. Stick on, you ATK fans. It promises to be a ‘good good’ night hopefully.