Mumbai City FC
1900 IST, 03 December, 2015
Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata
Atletico de Kolkata look to strengthen their position at the top of the Indian Super League standings when they host an extremely tired Mumbai City FC, who had been stuck in Chennai due to incessant rain, on Friday.
Mumbai City FC were knocked out of contention for a berth in the semi-finals after Chennaiyin FC hammered three goals past them in their previous match. Atletico de Kolkata have had to deal with such misery and will be much fresher and fitter, as they prepare for their fourth consecutive home match as well as having played their match against FC Pune City a day earlier.
Team News and Tactical Brief:
Atletico de Kolkata
The Red and Whites had hammered four goals past Mumbai at the DY Patil Stadium and will look to put on a similar performance against the Blue Devils. Having already sealed their place in the semis, Atletico may well look to rest quite a few of their players ahead of their semi final encouter.
But Antonio Lopez Habas will be tempted to end the round robin stage with a victory and seal a place in the top two to gain the advantage of playing the second leg of the semi-final at home. Iain Hume and Sameehg Doutie have been in sparkling form for the Kolkata side and Habas may well be tempted to save the duo for the semis, but the Canadian, who is in the race for the golden boot, might not take that well.
Kolkata though dona t have the luxury to play around in defence and are likely to field an almost unchanged backline with Amrinder Singh holding the fort, while Rino Anto, Tiri, Arnab Mondal and Augustine Fernandes form the backline.
But Habas is likely to tinker his midfield with Mohammed Rafique, Izumi Arata and Jewel Raja all in contention to start while Borja Fernandez or Jamie Gavilan might be rested, While Hume will be partnered by Valdo as forwards.
Probable Starting Lineup (4-4-2): Amrinder; Anto, Arnab, Tiri, Augustine; Jewel Raja, Nato, Borja, Izumi; Hume, Valdo.
Mumbai City FC
Mumbai City FC may have been knocked out of the tournament, but will look to end their season with a bang and with the attacking talent at their disposal, ita d be foolish to disregard them.
However, with the weather conditions worsening, all flights from Chennai, where they suffered a 3-0 hammering at the hands of Chennaiyin FC, were cancelled. The officials were forced to hire a bus for the players to reach to Tirupati Airport for their match.
Mumbai City marque player cum manager Nicolas Anelka wona t be playing but their attacking quartet of Frederic Piquionne, Sony Norde, Sunil Chhetri and Ashutosh Mehta is still a fearsome combination and Atletico will have to be wary of any counter attacking threats.
Mumbai City like to play with a two man pivot with Juan Aguilera and Cristian Bustos likely to get the nod ahead of Selim Benachour. The Spanish duo of Aguilera and Bustos has served well for Mumbai City but the midfield has often been overrun due to unwillingness of the three attacking midifelds to track back and help in defence.
The Mumbai City defence will see the return of Pavel Cmovs after serving his one match suspension for accumlating four yellow cards over the season and will partner Franz Bertin in an all foreign centre back combination. Rowilson Rodrigues and Lalchhuanmawia Fanai are expected to play in the two flanks in defence, while India international Subrata Paul will retain his place in goal.
Probable Starting Lineup (4-2-3-1): Paul; Rowilson, Cmovs, Bertin, Fanai; Aguilera, Bustos; Mehta, Chhetri, Norde; Piquionne.
Atletico de Kolkata 2-1 Mumbai City FC .
Atletico de Kolkata might rest a few players, but Mumbai City FC will be extremely tired from their journey to Kolkata and will look to just end their season. Habas, a wily tactician, will see through that even his rotated squad is enough to win the match and seal their place in the top two.
Image Courtesy: ISL Media Team