Atletico de Kolkata
Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata
18th November 2014, 19:00 IST
Two struggling teams, who are on either ends of the Indian Super League (ISL) table, will take on each other on Wednesday, when Atletico de Kolkata welcome NorthEast United to the Salt Lake Stadium. Despite remaining at the top of the standings since the beginning of the tournament, the Kolkata outfit have struggled in recent games. Antonio Habas’ side are winless in their last four outings, while NorthEast United, who find themselves in the bottom half of the table with 10 points from eight games, are also on a similar disappointing run. As a result, both teams will be gunning for the full three points to build some momentum heading into the business-end of the competition.
Team News and Tactical Brief:
Atletico de Kolkata
Kolkata boss Habas has come under criticism from some corners for his knack of playing with a lone striker in Fikru Teferra, following the Red and White’s goalless draw with Chennaiyin FC on Friday. The Ethiopian international, who was guilty of missing some guilt-edged chances against Chennai, has however often struggled without a partner upfront. But it is believed that Habas will not alter his formation at the moment, especially not against a speedy NorthEast United team. Another worrying thought for Atletico de Kolkata is that Cavin Lobo, who has been one of the stand-out performers from the Indian contingent of players in the franchise, has been ruled out of the ISL with a ligament tear. Despite not being a regular starter, the Goanese has consistently performed for the Kolkata giants, with his best performance coming in the form of a brace against FC Goa which handed his side a come from behind win against Zico’s team last month.
Probable Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Subhasish Roy Chowdhury, Baljit Sahni, Arnab Mondal, Josemi, Biswajit Saha, Ofentse Nato, Borja Fernandez, Jofre Mateu, Sanju Pradhan, Luis Garcia, Fikru Teferra
The Highlanders have thus far conceded the least number of goals (6) in the ISL, but interestingly NorthEast United are also the team to score the least number of goals (6) , with both the feats shared with Kerala Blasters. While the likes of James Keene and Durga Boro have failed to deliver for the Guwahati-based franchise, goalkeeper Rehenesh TP has been a revelation between the sticks. Ricki Herbert’s side have slithered down the table after picking up just three points from their last four games, and NorthEast United will be desperate for a win in the “Eastern derby” to propel themselves into the coveted top four spots, and also to avenge the 2-0 loss suffered at the hands of Atletico de Kolkata at the Indira Gandhi Stadium on 16th October. And NorthEast United will be looking up to Koke, who is the franchise’s top goalscorer with three strikes to his name, to deliver the goods against Atletico de Kolkata.
Probable Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Rehenesh TP, Aiborlang Khongjee, Miguel Garcia, Joan Capdevila, Robin Gurung, Kondwani Mtonga, Milan Singh, Guilherme Batata, Seminlen Doungel, Koke, James Keene
Atletico de Kolkata 1-0 NorthEast United
The home team, who will be keen to prolong their stay at the top of the ISL table, are slight favourites in this contest.