Both teams are at opposite ends of the table…
Pune City are up against Atletico De Kolkata in the Indian Super League on Sunday.
The build up to the game has been surrounded around Antonio Habas, as his former side Atletico De Kolkata, where he won the ISL in the inaugural season, squares off against his new side FC Pune City.
While his former franchise has built on the solid foundations laid by the Spaniard (some of their best players this season had also previously flourished under Habas last year), his current club find themselves bottom of the eight-team league, having won only a solitary game at the halfway stage of the season. Pune, had again built their side from scratch and losing their original marquee player Eidur Gudjohnsden days before the tournament was not ideal preparation. Habas has asked for more time to get his team up to speed but he’ll have to be ready quickly as the Kolkata side are rearing to go.
Coach Jose Molina confirmed that his Atletico side have no new missing players through injuries or leave and after a six-day rest period, should be able to field a first choice XI. Even marquee signing Helder Positga was confirmed to have a starting spot for the away game.
For FC Pune City, a couple of changes to the starting XI might not surprise anyone as they play their second game in three days after defeat to FC Goa on Thursday night at the same venue. It will be interesting to see what changes, if any, Habas decides to make.
Head to Head
The Stallions hold the advantage over the visitors when it comes to head to head games including the games at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune. The team in Orange have won one and drawn the other game played against Atletico at home. Pune’s only away win of their first two seasons had come in Kolkata. A lot has changed since then though.
Man to Watch
Jesus Tato-FC Pune City: The Spaniard has proved to be one of the brighter sparks for Pune this season having been a constant threat for opposition defenders in the wide area. The 33-year-old has a powerful shot on him and can also be a threat from set-pieces. Though he is yet to trouble the scorers, this could be the game that his contributions spark a win for the Punekars.
Helder Postiga-Atletico de Kolkata:The former Portuguese striker announced his return to the ISL with a match-winning performance against NorthEast United FC in ATK’s last match. The 2004 Euro finalist, who was sidelined due to injury for a few matches prior to the game against NorthEast, stamped his class with a goal against the Highlanders that completely altered the course of the match. He will be raring to build on that performance as he bids to take his side back to the top of the table.
FC Pune City (4-1-3-2): Edel, Bheke, Gourmangi, Ferreira, Das, Sissoko, Pradhan, Lucca, Rodrigues, Tato, Traore
Atletico De Kolkata (4-2-3-1): Majumder, Kotal, Sereno, Mondal, Das, Fernandez, Pearson, Doutie, Hume, Ralte, Postiga
The match will be telecast live on Star Sports 1, Star Sports HD1, Star Sports 4, Star Sports HD4, Star Gold, Star Gold HD, Jalsha Movies, Jalsha Movies HD and Hotstar. You can also follow live text commentary of the game on Khelnow.com.
Photo © ISL Media
Preview by Khel Now- correspondent Miqdad. Miqdad is a Liberal Arts student from Pune. A Liverpool fan he’s probably busy watching a sport or writing. You can follow him on Twitter.