Atletico de Kolkata(ATK) welcome Marco Materazzia s Chennaiyin FC in a round 10 encounter of the Hero Indian Super League on Wednesday.
Chennaiyin FC, who lie at the foot of the standings, have struggled to put a decent run and will be gunning for revenge for their opening day defeat against the defending champions, as they look to dislodge themselves from the foot of the table. Chennaiyin manager Marco Materazzi was optimistic about his teama s chances during the pre match press conference, as he goes in search for a winning streak and was quoted saying:
a We are still not able to play to our potential but we’re still hopeful of a turnaround. Two-three wins can turn the table.a
Kerala Blastersa victory over Cesar Fariasa NorthEast United on Sunday, further complicated the matters with all eight teams still having an equal opportunity to progress to the semi-finals. Chennaiyin will again look to depend on their talismanic duo of Elano and John Stiven Mendoza, both of whom have been a bit off-colour in the last few matches but their manager seemed to publicly back his players.
a Elano is having a decent run. He has four assists and four goals so far. It’s not just about one player but the the whole team should come together and that should be our focus.a
Habas: The magic number is 12 points
Meanwhile Atletico de Kolkata come into the game on the back of an away draw with Delhi Dynamos and will look to consolidate their place in the playoffs with a double over Chennaiyin FC, but Habas was seen joking that he has already achieved the points required to qualify for the playoffs.
“The magic number is 12 points. I’m not looking too far ahead but our focus is on winning tomorrow,” the ISL winning coach said, even as the target seems stiff as they have lost their last two matches on home turf with three points from three matches.
ATK have found it hard to adapt to the natural turf of the Salt Lake Stadium, having won only two of their four home fixtures, and Antonio Lopez Habas was seen complaining about the lack of time to practice at the stadium in the pre match press conference.
“No excuses for the bad performances here. The pitch is also not an excuse now as we have had our time to practice on it. Hopefully we will put up a better show tomorrow.
“But it’s kind of strange that a team like ATK have only able to get 90 minutes of practice on the pitch.a
Kolkata, who have been ravaged with injuries, recently signed few players as replacements to help ease some pressure on the existing personnel. Spaniard Jorge Alonso Martin being the latest, as he replacesthe SD Eibar midfieler Javier Lara from whom much was expected but failed to deliver on the expectations. Habas, though, remained tight-lipped about the new signing Deja Lekica s chance against Chennaiyin
“I will be able to assess his situation after the training today. Ideally he would need about three more days’ time to recover but there’s a possibility of him to play tomorrow.a