Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata
The Hero Indian Super league is nearing its season finale, and the aspiring semi-finalists will look to prove their worth by snatching all three points from their rivals. Atletico de Kolkata, who have managed to hold on to the last of the semi-final spots welcome eight placed Chennaiyin FC at the Yuva Bharati Kriyanagan Stadium, but wouldna t dare to underestimate the side that boast the attacking duo of Elano and Stiven Mendoza.
Team News and Tactical Brief
Atletico de Kolkata
Atletico de Kolkataa s coach Antonio Lopez Habas prefers to play the 4-2-3-1 formation and is likely to continue with the same formation. Injuries had hit Atletico de Kolkata hard, but since then the management has made a host of signing to replace the injured players. Amrinder Singh has been the first choice goalkeeper for quite a few weeks now and that isna t likely to change as Singh is likely to retain his place under the posts.
But ita s the defense that is expected to remain the same as their away trip to Delhi, despite Atletico de Kolkata inability to keep a single clean sheet in the entire season. Habasa four man defense will consist of Rino Anto, Tiri, Augustine Fernandes, and Napallan Mohanraj. ATKa s double pivot is likely to be the combination of Borja Fernandez and Jamie Gavilan while Ian Hume is expected to continue his role as a withdrawn forward and will be flanked by Sameehg Doutie and Izumi Arata. New signing Dejan Lekic is likely to given his first start as a lone forward.
Probable Starting XI: Amrinder, Rino, Tiri, Augustine, Mohanraj; Borja, Gavilan; Izumi, Hume, Doutie, Lekic.
Last seasona s league stage winners, Chennaiyin FC, may be struggling this season and are at the foot of the table but with the talent the squad possesses, ita s a matter of time before they jump back into the contention for a semi-final spot. Marco Materazzi is likely to continue with the 4-4-2 diamond formation with Elano at the top and Mendoza alongside Fikru as forwards.
Karanjit Singh is likely to return as man between the sticks after Apoula Edela s horror show against NorthEast United FC while the defence too isna t likely to see much alteration from the previous match but Sena Ralte will regain his place from Dhanachandra Singh. Mailson and Mendy will form the all foreign centre-back pairing and Mehrahuddin Wadoo as the right back. But it will the three man midfield which will make for an interesting read with Manuel Blasi and Raphel Augusto competing for the last foreign slot in the lineup, but it will be interesting to see who wins the mini duel. He will be accompanied be Thoi Singh and MP Zakeer.
Probable Starting XI: Karanjit; Wadoo, Mailson, Mendy, Sena Ralte; Blasi, Thoi Singh, Zakeer, Elano; Mendoza, Fikru. .
Atletico de Kolkata 1-2 Chennaiyin FC
The side from Chennai will be motivated enough to complete their revenge, after their opening day loss to the defending champions. Moreover a victory over ATK, will definitely make the race for the last spot for the semi-finals even more interesting. The Hard Tackle predicts that it would be Atletico de Kolkata who would lose their home match, as Elano and Fikru will shine brightly throughout the game.
Image Courtesy: ISL Media