Atlético look to keep Goa at bay
Atlético de Kolkata have not ever lost to FC Goa and they look to keep their feat intact when they host the Gaurs at the Salt Lake Stadium in their Hero Indian Super League Season 2 encounter on Sunday. Goa are currently top of the table, ahead of Delhi Dynamos FC on goal difference, while ATK lie in third. A win for either team will virtually seal a place in the semi-finals for them, so expect a humdinger of a contest between the two form teams. FC Goa will be high on confidence following their 7-0 rout of Mumbai City FC in their last match. ATK will be no different, courtesy of their 2-1 win against Chennaiyin FC.
Form Guide (Last 5 matches)
Atlético de Kolkata: W-L-W-D-W
FC Goa: L-D-W-D-W
Head-to-Head: Last year, these two teams played four matches (two in the league stage and two in the semis). ATK won the first match away 2-1 and then drew 1-1 at home. In the semis, the first leg ended in a 0-0 draw and in the second leg ATK won on penalties to reach the final.
Manning the Kolkata defence alongside the likes of Tiri and Rino Anto is Augustin Fernandes who has 66 clearances to his name from nine matches. His goal against Mumbai City FC earlier in the season tells you that he can do a lot more than just defending. However, he would be facing the uphill task of containing Dudu Omagbemi who scored a hat-trick in the Gaurs’ last encounter, only playing his second match of the season. The three goals hint at Dudu’s superior marksmanship skills and his quick ability to adapt to Zico’s style of football.
Sameehg Doutie v Bikramjit Singh
A goal and an assist by Sameehg Doutie in Kolkata’s last match saw them clinch a necessary victory against Chennaiyin FC. The South African midfielder’s four vital assists so far have helped the Antonio Lopez Habas-coached side gain entry into the top half of the table. Meanwhile, Central midfielder Bikramjit Singh is important to the Gaurs’ cause. He boasts a passing accuracy of almost 80% and will be one of the players to watch out for on Sunday.
Sushil Kumar Singh v Lucio
He may not have featured in a lot of matches for ATK this season but there is no doubt that Sushil Kumar Singh is one heck of a talent. Habas could sure utilise him as a fresh pair of legs up front in the second half when the opposition defence shows signs of burning out. FC Goa’s marquee signing Lucio has been a mainstay of the Gaurs’ defence line, partnering the likes of Gregory Arnolin and Narayan Das. Breaching Lucio’s defences will surely take some doing. How Goa fare in the match heavily rides on Lucio’s performance.
Goa is first in the league and we play against them. It is a more important game for us and I think the most difficult till now: ATK head coach Antonio Lopez Habas
We always play to win. There’s no guarantee in football even if we score seven in a game. There is no complacency. We have our feet on the ground and we are serious contenders: FC Goa head coach Zico
FC Goa: Elinton Sanchotene Andrade, Luis Barreto, Laxmikant Kattimani, Lucimar Da Silva Ferreira [Lucio] [marquee], Gregory Arnolin, Luciano Sobrosa, Keenan Almeida, Nicolau Colaco, Raju Gaekwad, Debabrata Roy, Narayan Das, Joffre Mateu Gonzalez, Leonardo da Silva Moura [Leo Moura], Jonatan Lucca, Denson Devdas, Pronay Halder, Bikramjit Singh, Mandar Rao Dessai, Romeo Fernandes, Reinaldo Da Cruz Oliveira, Rafael Coelho, Macpherlin Omagbemi Dudu, Thongkoisep Haokip, Victorino Fernandes, Joaquim Abranches, CS Sabeeth.
Atlético de Kolkata: Amrinder Singh, Juan Calatayud, Kunzang Bhutia (Lachungpa), Arnab Mondal, Denzil Franco, Nallappan Mohanraj, Syed Rahim Nabi, Dejan Lekic, José Luis Espinosa Arroyo (Tiri), Rino Anto, Lalchhawnkima, Augustin Fernandes, Sheikh Jewel Raja, Clifford Miranda, Borja Fernández, Ofentse Nato, Jaime Gavilan Martinez, Sameehg Doutie, Arata Izumi, Javier ‘Javi’ Lara Grande, Valmiro Lopes Rocha, Baljit Sahni, Nadong Bhutia, Hélder Postiga (marquee player), Sushil Kumar Singh, Iain Hume.
– ISL Media