Atletico de Kolkata
DY Patil Stadium, Mumbai
1st November, 2015
Played six, won three, lost two, and drawn one a this is Mumbai City FCa s record, in this seasona s Indian Super League (ISL), and things seem to be going pretty well for them. However, the fact that they have been able to turn things around from losing two and drawing one, in their first three matches, to notching up a three-match winning streak after six games often seems to be forgotten by everyone.
These run of results have enabled Mumbai City FC to leapfrog the rest of the teams, and take the fourth spot on the ISL table, before they face a struggling Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) at home.
On ATKa s part, the defending champions hardly seem to be playing the a Fatafati Footballa that they have been advertising since the pre-season.They have now slumped to their third successive defeat, and seem to be running out of ideas, on how to get solitary striker Iain Hume on the scoresheet.
Team News and Tactical Brief:
Mumbai City FC
Nicolas Anelkaa s team have been brilliant of late, winning their last three matches on the trot, to make it into the top half of the ISL table. However, one thing that could be bugging the team is the fact that they would be playing their third match in the week, on Sunday, and that could start to take a toll on the body of the players.
This could be compounded by the fact that Mumbai City FC have been playing more-or-less an unchanged side, in the last few matches. after shuffling between 4-4-2 and 4-3-3, Anelka seems to have found the winning combination (4-2-3-1), which he has played in all of their last three games.
He has also played the same back-four for quite a few games now, and fullbacks Lalchhuanmawia Fanai and Ashutosh Mehta could soon be starting to wear out, if not rested soon. Also, forwards Frederic Piquionne, Sony Norde and Sunil Chhetri have been shouldering most of the burden, in these matches, and may soon need a rest.
Manager Anelka has the perfect opportunity to rest some players against a hapless ATK side, who seem to have lost their form around the same time that Mumbai City FC gained it. Having said that however, Anelka would be trying to ride this momentum, and get as many wins under their belt, to secure a spot in the semi finals, which means that an unchanged XI could be expected from Anelka.
Probable Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Paul; Chhuantea, Oa Dea, Cmovs, Ashutosh; Bustos, Bertin; Norde, Chhetri, Subhash; Piquionne.
Atletico de Kolkata
Meanwhile, ATK are currently on a three-match winning run, and have looked incredibly out of sorts ever since marquee player Helder Postiga got injured in the inaugural game of the season. Canadian forward Iain Hume has been brilliant up front, but with the workrate that he puts in, he has been left isolated, up front.
Injuries have also depleted ATKa s backline, with Josemi being ruled out for the rest of the season. however, there have been rumours of ATK being linked with former FC Pune City striker Dudu Omagbemi, but it is unlikely that the signing would be completed in time for the Nigerian forward to play Sundaya s match.
One bit of good news for ATK is that wingman Javi Lara would be available for selection again. Manager Antonio Lopez Habasa men have not been too bad defensively, except that they have been losing the games by a small margin. They would certainly be trying to change that, at the DY Patil stadium, in Mumbai. However, with their current run of form, and a lack of creativity from midfield, it seems a difficult task for the defending champions.
Probable starting XI (4-3-2-1): Amrinder; Augustin, Arroyo, Arnab, Anto; Borja, Nato; Lara, Gavilan, Baljit; Hume.
Mumbai City FC 1-0 Atletico de Kolkata
ATK have lost of their last three matches 1-0, and have looked out of sorts, when going forward. Mumbai City FC have shown that they can rip teams apart, with a 5-1 demolition of North East United FC, in their last game, but ATK are defensively organised, and do not concede as many goals. However, with quality forwards like Piquionne, Norde, and Chhetri, it seems unlikely that ATK would be able to keep Mumbai City FC out.
Image Courtesy: Indian Super League Media Team