Atletico de Kolkata
Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata
12th October 2014, 19:00 IST
The entire country is gearing up for the biggest football extravaganza it has ever seen on 12th October .Two of the best teams in the Indian Super League will kick off what many is considering a footballing revolution in the country , at the Vivekananda Yubhabharati Krirangan on Sunday. Both teams, Mumbai City FC and Atletico De Kolkata have played few pre-season friendlies but this will be both the club’s first competitive game. Both the team, would be looking for a win, and to start their campaign on a much higher note, collecting all three points .
Team News and Tactical Brief:
Atletico De Kolkata
Atletico De Kolkata will be aware of the supporters’ ambition as they take to the field, however they will also be aware of the fact that Mumbai City FC will be no pushovers considering the squad depth that the Mumbai club have.
After successfully completing their Spanish Sojourn, where they participated in 5 friendlies, Antonio Habas’ side will be keen to take to the pitch and put all their experience to test in a competitive match for the first time. Antonio Habas will probably opt for a 4-2-3-1 on the day.
Subhashis Roychoudhury will be preferred in Goal ahead of former PSG man Apoula Edel and former Atletico de Madrid B teams goalkeeper Basilio Agudo.
The defense seems solid with Arnab Mondal and former Lyon and Monaco defensive lynchpin Sylvain Monsoreau starting at the heart of the back four. Denzil Franco looks like the favourite to start as the right back and Josemi, a 2005 Champions League winner with Liverpool, expected to occupy the left side of defence.
Borja Fernandez, the ex- Valladolid and Getafe will be a sure starter with Cavin Lobo expected to be favoured over Ofentse Nato, a Botwana international, in central midfield. Luis Garcia, the former Liverpudlian, will be a vital cog in attack with Jakub Podany and Sanju Pradhan expected to provide threat down both wings with Jacub featuring on the left and Former Kingfisher East Bengal man Sanju on the right. Fikru Teferra, the Ethiopian international, is expected to feature above Arnal Llibert in attack, with Mohammed Rafi and and Baljit Sahni waiting in the sidelines.
Expected Starting XI against Mumbai City FC : Subhashis, Arnab, Sylvian, Denzil, Josemi, Borja, Lobo, Pradhan, Garcia, Podany, Teferra
Mumbai City FC
Mumbai City FC on the other hand, head into their first match fully aware of the fact that off-field problems will dictate the outcome of this game. Mumbai City FC, the team from the financial capital is facing a crises of sorts at the moment with Nicolas Anelka expected to begin serving his three match ban for the ‘Quenelle’ gesture handed down to him by the English Football Association (FA), though Mumbai City FC tried in vain, to have it rescinded. Add to that the injury Freddie Ljungberg has suffered in training on the artificial pitch of the Cooperage and suddenly the Mumbai attack looks light up front.
Coach Peter Reid, a former Manchester City and Leeds United tactician, has since claimed Ljungberg will play some part in the match, but it should be a minor one. Manuel Friedrich has reiterated his sides desire to get the ball rolling for the Mumbai side, with all three points. Manager Peter Reid will most probably start with a 4-4-2 Diamond formation . India Number 1 Subrata Pal will start ahead of former Prayag goalkeeper Ishan Debnath and former Vitória de Guimarães youth Goalkeeper Andre Mato Dias Pereira.
Former Dortmund and Germany International Manuel Friedrich will partner Raju Gaikwad at the heart of the defense. Experienced Czech defender Pavel Cmovs will start at at the right of the defence line with Syed Rahim Nabi occupying the Left Side of defense.
Kingfisher East Bengal player Lalrindika Ralte will provide the pace on the left with Nadong Bhutia expected to start in the right side of attack . Spanish Midfielder Francisco Javier Fernández Luque will look forward to protect his defence and build attacks from the back sitting back in Midfield. Czech midfielder Jan Stohanzi will start in the hole just behind the two strikers.
With Nicolas Anelka out Abhishek Yadav will take his place in attack alongside Diego Nadaya , the Argentine has already impressed fans by scoring two hat-tricks in the friendlies and will look to replicate that form on Sunday.
Expected Starting XI Against Atletico de Kolkata: Pal, Gaikwad, Friedrich, Cmvos, Nabi, Luque, Bhutia, Stohanzi, Dika, Nadaya, Yadav
Luis Garcia (Atletico De Kolkata)
If the Former Atletico De Madrid and Liverpool man can give a performance that he is capable of, then he will be a thorn in Mumbai City’s Midfield .He will look to create spaces for the attackers as well as deliver crucial passes that can hurt the opposition.
Lalrindika Ralte (Mumbai City FC)
Dubbed as ‘The next big thing’ , in Indian Football , this is a chance for the young man to show the audience what he is capable of .With a deadly left foot and an eye for a pass he will be someone the Kolkata outfit will be wary of.
Atletico De Kolkata 1-1 Mumbai City FC
Although Mumbai City FC will not be lining up in their Strongest XI, they will most certainly test Kolkata’s Franchisee. A tight game, is expected with the result, balanced. TheHardTackle predicts a 1-1 draw, with end to end stuff in the dying embers of the game.