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Atletico de Kolkata

3rd October 2015, 19:00 IST .

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Defending Champions Atletico de Kolkata get the ball rolling to the 2015 edition of Hero Indian Super League, as they fly to Tamil Nadu to face last yeara s league stage winners, Chennaiyin FC. Chennaiyin FC, one of favourites for the titles, would look to make a good start to season and signal other opponents of their ambitions.

Team News and Tactical Brief:

Atletico de Kolkata

The franchisee from Kolkata looks to defend their title, have made quite a few changes to their squad during the offseason and would be hoping that they dona t come to regret the decision as the season progress. The management will need to be careful so that the new signings can adjust quickly to the Indian conditions and not in the injury table.

The preseason in Spain was to build up the fitness and chemistry, but injuries have struck the squad thin especially in central defence with both Josemi and Tiri doubtful for the opening match. ATK, though, have adequate Indians in that position, but Coach Antonio Lopez Habaz may look to experiment with Ofentse Nato, who was a mainstay in last yeara s midfield, as the centre back.

The injury to Josemi and Tiri might be a blessing in disguise for Jamie Gavilan as he looks to make his debut in Indian Super League against Chennaiyin. Armider Singh and Kuzang Bhutiaa s inexperience may tilt the decision in favour of Calatayud, but everything depends on the development qouta. The qouta might help Arminder nick the number 1 spot from Juan Calatayuda s nose. The rest of the team gets automatically with the squad set for a 4-4-2 formation.

Helder Postiga and Iain Hume would be the two forward, while Borja Fernandez and Javi Lara would look to recreate their SD Eibar chemistry in the midfield. Among Indians, Rino Anto and Arnab Mondal, the two India internationals, will the first choice at their respective teams. The left back remains a position of concern for Habas and Chennaiyin may very well look to exploit the weakness.

Probable Starting Lineup (4-4-2): Amrinder Singh, Rino Anto, Arnab Mondal, Oftense Nato, Syed Rahim Nabi, Baljit Singh, Borja Fernandez, Javi Lara, Jamie Gavilan, Helder Postiga, Iain Hume

football formations

Chennaiyin FC v Atletico de Kolkata

Chennaiyin FC

Chennaiyin FC would like to signal their intention by defeating the defending champions Atletico de Kolkata at Marina Arena as they embark on their season 2 voyage. Chennaiyin having lost to Kerala Blasters in semi finals would be itiching to prove that luck favoured Atletico de Kolkata to the title.

Chennaiyin have mostly retained their players, while fine tuning by signing players like Fikru, Edel Bete, Dhanpal Ganesh and Thoi Singh in the hope of challenging for the title. Players like Fikru and Edel Bete would be motivated to prove their previous owners that they were wrong to let them go ahead of season 2. Chennaiyin was shrewd enough to sign Fikru and would be hoping that Fikru delivers on the trust.

Karanjit is expected to be the first choice goalkeeper but will need to be on his toes, as Edel Bete, the man who ATK the final, would be quite eager to snatch his place. Marco Materazzi, likes to play with a back three along with two wing backs, is expected to go for an all foreign defence with Alessandro Potenza, Bernard Mendy and Eder as the three centre backs. The ever adaptable Harmanjot Khabra and Dhanchandra Singh are expected to line up as the two wing back.

Materazzi may well trust two Indians, Thoi Singh and Dhanpal Ganesh, as midfield enforcers, so as to let his attacking trio of Elano, Fikru and Stiven Mendoza to do all the damage.

Probable Starting Lineup (3-4-1-2): Karanjit Singh, Alessandro Potenza, Bernard Mendy, Eder, Harmanjot Khabra, Thoi Singh, Dhanpal Ganesh, Dhanachandra Singh, Elano, Fikru, Stiven Mendoza

Predictions:

Chennaiyin FC 2-1 Atletico De Kolkata

ATKa s fight to defend the title is likely to begin with a disappointment, as Chennaiyin FC will aim to start the season right. TheHardTackle predicts a tight and tactical match between Chennaiyin and. Atletico de Kolkata with Chennaiyin edging out with an individual moment of brilliance.