Preview: Hyderabad FC, ATK Mohun Bagan battle for AFC Cup Prelims

Uttiyo Sarkar

May 2 2023

This is the last game for both teams this season.

ATK Mohun Bagan are all set to face Hyderabad FC in a crucial playoff clash to qualify for the 2023-24 AFC Cup Preliminary Round. The two sides are respective winners of the previous two Indian Super League (ISL) playoffs and will get a chance to book a place in the continental competition on Wednesday.

The Mariners head into the competition after having won the ISL title last month. Hyderabad are a club in transition, with manager Manolo Marquez nearing the exit door. But in a one-off fixture like this, anything can happen. In a repeat of the semi-finals of last season’s ISL playoffs, won by ATKMB, this one should be a closely fought, interesting encounter.

The Stakes

Hyderabad FC

Hyderabad FC are still a club in its youth, having only been rebranded from FC Pune City a few years ago. The Nawabs have been one of the most consistent ISL teams over the last two seasons, having finished strongly both in the league and playoffs stages.

They’ve built a strong squad with a lot of character and mentality. While Hyderabad ended the domestic season in shaky fashion, the quality of their squad means they can bounce back any time.

Hyderabad FC are yet to get the taste of continental football and are desperate to paly at the highest level. That is why it is crucial for them to put their entire energy into winning this, to keep the dream alive. Knowing their current transitional period, Hyderabad will know that if they can’t qualify for the AFC Cup this year – it might take a few years before they can compete for a place in an AFC competition.

ATK Mohun Bagan

The owners of ATK Mohun Bagan have been adamant at wanting to see them play regularly in continental competitions. The Mariners have the perfect chance to make that wish come true this year, but need to get past Hyderabad FC at the first hurdle.

Fortunately for them, ATKMB have gotten the better of the Nawabs in recent fixtures and appear to have found a formula to grind out wins against them. They’re heading into this game with confidence on their side, despite the underwhelming Super Cup campaign.

Considering the expectations on them and the quality of this ATK Mohun Bagan side, not being able to qualify for at least the AFC Cup preliminary round will be gutting. A lot is riding on this one-off playoff game, which they need to win to ensure that their hard work in the previous ISL season pays off.

Injury & Team News

ATK Mohun Bagan should have a fully-fit squad available for this game, including defender Brendan Hamill – who missed the Hero Super Cup.


ATK Mohun Bagan and Hyderabad FC have faced each other 10 times in ISL. Out of this, the Mariners have won on four occasions and hold the advantage.

Played: 10

ATK Mohun Bagan: 4

Hyderabad: 2

Draw: 4

Predicted Line-ups

Hyderabad FC (4-2-3-1)

Gurmeet Singh (GK), Nikhil Poojary, Chinglensana Singh, Onai Onaindia, Akash Mishra, Borja Herrera, Sahil Tavora, Mohammad Yasir, Joel Chianese, Halicharan Narzary, Javier Siverio

ATK Mohun Bagan (4-2-3-1)

Vishal Kaith (GK), Asish Rai, Pritam Kotal, Slavko Damjanovic, Subhasish Bose, Glan Martins, Carl McHugh, Manvir Singh, Hugo Boumous, Liston Colaco, Dimitri Petratos

Player to Watch

Mohammad Yasir (Hyderabad FC)

Mohammad Yasir Hyderabad FC vs ATK Mohun Bagan AFC Cup 2023-24 Playoffs PreviewMohammad Yasir. (Courtesy: ISL Media)

Mohammad Yasir is coming off the back of a pretty impressive ISL campaign with Hyderabad FC. He scored three goals and provided four assists in 20 appearances for the Nawabs, helping them reach the playoffs. Yasir created nearly 1.5 chances per game and tormented teams with his clever crosses and set-pieces.

He can create chaos if given too much freedom on the ball and allowed possession in key areas in the final third. Yasir will be the creative beacon for Hyderabad FC in this one and needs to get his crosses spot on. If he can get the better of the ATKMB defenders and nail his crosses, the 25-year-old can be a game-changer and tip things in Hyderabad FC’s favor.

Dimitri Petratos (ATK Mohun Bagan)

Dimitri Petratos Hyderabad FC vs ATK Mohun Bagan AFC Cup 2023-24 Playoffs PreviewDimitri Petratos. (Courtesy: ISL Media)

Dimitri Petratos has had an amazing debut season with ATK Mohun Bagan and been their saviour time and again. The Australian forward adapted to the system and was quite selfless, playing according to the team’s needs. He scored 12 goals and provided seven assists in 23 matches in the ISL and played a huge role in the Mariners’ success.

Petratos is a versatile forward who can adapt according to situations in a game. He loves dropping deep to help link-up moves, while also making clever runs into the box to set up scoring chances. He’s also dangerous with his set-piece delivery and can be a menace for Hyderabad unless they’re able to keep a tight mark on him.

Did You Know?

  • Vishal Kaith kept the most clean sheets (12) in the ISL last season.
  • Mohammad Yasir created 34 chances last season in the ISL, the second-most for any Indian player.
  • Subhasish Bose had more touches (1576) than any other player in the 2022/23 ISL season.


The match between Hyderabad FC and ATK Mohun Bagan will take place on May 3 at the EMS Corporation Stadium, Kozhikode. It will kick off at 7 PM IST and will telecast on Sony Ten 2 and the FanCode app.

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