ISL OPENER: ATK MOHUN BAGAN v/s KERALA BLASTERS

Last season’s runner-up ATK MOHUN BAGAN FC will kick off their ISL campaign by playing against an always tough-to-beat side KERALA BLASTERS FC. Despite being very close ATK MOHUN BAGAN FCmissed out on both the league shield and final trophy last season. So this time they are more concentrated and determined in their goal. On other hand, KERALA BLASTERS FCare also dreaming of something big with comparably a new squad consisting of six new foreign players. This fixture has always been very intense and eventful and that’s the reason this match is also known as Indian El Clasico.

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ATK MOHUNBAGAN FC (ATKMB)

ATKMB has been in incredible form since last season under Antonio Habas. Most importantly Mariners registered a win in their all two matches against KERALA BLASTERSlast season. This time crucial inclusions like Hugo Boumous and Joni Kauko have made their squad even better. Versatile players like Carl McHugh, Deepak Tangri, and others always give the liberty to the Spanish coach to try out different formations and strategies.

POSSIBLE LINE UP

Formation : 3-5-2

GK: Amrinder Singh

DEFENCE: Pritam Kothal, Deepak Tangri, Carl Mchugh [Note: Tiri is injured]

MIDFIELD: Ashutosh Mehta, Lenny Rodrigues, Joni Kauko, Hugo Boumous, Subhashish Bose

ATTACK: Roy Krishna, Manvir Singh

ROY KRISHNA (ATKMB)
ROY KRISHNA (ATKMB)

STRENGTH

1. Whenever we talk about the strength of this side the name Roy Krishna always comes up at the top. Having scored 14 goals last season the Fijian skipper proved to be the most important player on this side. In the last two meetings with KERALA BLASTERS, he registered his name thrice in the score sheet. Once again the Mariners will certainly rely on their talisman’s goal-scoring ability in tomorrow’s match.

2. They have made their midfield even stronger than last season with the signing of some very big names. The highest assist provider of ISL history Hugo Boumous has penned a five years deal with the Mariners and the inclusion of Finnish international Joni Kauko and Indian Internationals Deepak Tangri, Liston Colaco made their midfield a force to be reckoned with.

3. Mariners have a very strong bench obtaining some young blood like SK Sahil, Ensong Sing, Sumit Rathi.

Weaknesses

  1. Defence looks pretty weaker than last season following the departure of star defender Sandesh Jhinghan. They have swallowed 8 goals in their previous four AFC CUP matches and it must be making coach Antonio Habas a bit worried.

2. Over-dependency on Roy Krishna is also a thing they must overcome. The Fijian international has contributed 22 goals among all 34 goals scored by ATK MOHUN BAGAN last season.

PLAYER TO WATCH OUT

ROY KRISHNA

Roy Krishna is the highest scorer of ATK Mohun Bagan last season. More significantly he scored 3 goals in 2 matches against Kerala Blasters. He’s a prolific striker known for his lightning speed and his finishing skills. So you have to keep your eyes on him in tomorrow’s match.

ATK Mohun Bagan vs Kerala Blasters
ATK Mohun Bagan vs Kerala Blasters

KERALA BLASTERS FC

They finished at 10th position in the last edition of ISL. Surely a result they will want to forget. But this season has not been good for them so far. In spite of doing some big signings, Ivan Vukomanovic’s boys couldn’t cross the hurdle of the group stage in the Durand Cup. But ISL is a new start for them and Alvaro Vaques, Adrian Luna is eager to prove themselves in Indian condition.

POSSIBLE LINE UP

Formation: 4-4-2

GK: Albino Gomes

DEFENCE: Harmanjot Khabra, Marko Lešković, Abdul Hakku, Jessel Carneiro

MIDFIELD: Rahul KP, Sahal Samad, Adrian Luna, Jeakson Singh

ATTACK: Jorge Diaz, Alvaro Vazquez

STRENGTH

1. An unknown set of foreigners that nobody knows about.

2. Young and fast players like Rahul, Givson, Ayush, Sanjeev, Hormipam, and many more.

RAHUL KP ( Kerala Blasters)
RAHUL KP ( Kerala Blasters)

WEAKNESSES

1. New players are not settled up yet with the team.

2. Lack of experience on both wings

3. No foreign central defensive midfielder in the squad.

PLAYER TO WATCH OUT

RAHUL KP

One of the most talented young Indian players playing in ISL. His strength is his speed and dribbling. In AFC U23 Asian Qualifiers he was in very good form for team India. If he continues his form in this match then he can surely make some difference.

Conclusion

These teams have a lot to prove on the pitch and in this league, starting from today. So there is going to be tough punches and more key moments in the blink of an eye. It is Indian Super League, and well can expect nothing less than footballing entertainment.

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