The Pune based side, Pune Cìty FC take on Kolkata’s two time ISL reigning champions, ATK on a return fixture at their own den tonight at the Balewadi Stadium, Pune. Pune City FC are sitting pretty at 3rd position in the league table securing 16 pts from 10 games whereas ATK are on the rise from their position at 8th in the standings with 12 pts from their 9 games. ATK will be eyeing a hard fought win here having suffered their worst loss at home to Pune City Fc in the 1st leg, that being 4-1 in favour of tonight’s home side.
Some transfer news have been doing rounds as ATK brought in 3 new quality changes in their squad replacing Finnish striker Njazi Kuqi with Northern Ireland & ex- Tampa Bay Rowdies forward, Martin Paterson. Reserve overseas goalie Jussi Jaaskelainen has been replaced with Wales international winger, ex- Bristol City RW, David Cotterill. And defender, Augustin Fernandes has been replaced with reserve Indian goalie, ex- Delhi Dynamos player, Soram Poirei Anganba.
Of these changes the two overseas recruits are likely to make their debut appearances in the Red & Whites tonight. ATK are playing this game on the back of a much needed win versus Northeast United FC. The blue eyed boy of ATK, Zequinha struck the blistering winner with a volley into the top right corner from the edge of the box past the rushing defenders & goalie.
ATK coach, Sheringham would like to continue the momentum and also keep pushing upwards in the table before it gets to the business end of the league. Robbie Keane is likely to miss out tonight’s game also due to his soared ankle. Questions are also on Anwar’s participation in the game as he too is recovering from his hamstring strain. ATK’s right wing woes are likely to end courtesy Cotterill addition. Now the ATK foreign outfit looks formidable and if they can string in good attacks with the remaining Indian contingent in the line up, it can be a force to reckon with for the opposition sides.
The ATK line up for today may seem like –
The Pune City FC side will be weary of the danger that ATK can pose upon them irrespective of their thumping victory over them earlier in the season. If they mistake this revamped ATK side to be the one they played in the 1st leg, it can cost them some vital points in their home game this time around.
Pune lost their last match to Chennaiyin FC and are in search of their lost form as Marcelinho had been absent in a few games due to suspension that disrupted the attacking formation a bit or two. Alfaro along with Marcelinho had bamboozled ATK the last time around and would like to remind of their performances tonight for their home crowd in contrast to ATK’s wishes.
Teddy Sheringham & co. travel with high hopes tonight. Can ATK revive their dampened glory this season yet again and stir up the race to the top four? WAIT & WATCH !!