The Mariners will return to action after a two-week COVID halt.
ATK Mohun Bagan will be eager to relaunch their top-of-the-table surge when they take on volatile Odisha FC in a rescheduled 2021-22 Indian Super League game at the PJN Stadium in Fatorda on Sunday.
The Mariners were last in action on January 5, playing out a 2-2 draw against Hyderabad FC. Juan Ferrando’s side saw their next three games get postponed including the one against Odisha, meaning they have only played nine matches so far pocketing 15 points.
ATK Mohun Bagan
A win on Sunday would take them to the top-four with two games in hand. ATKMB bolstered their backline with the addition of Sandesh Jhingan who returned to the fold from Croatian side HNK Šibenik.
The green and maroons will miss the services of playmaker Hugo Boumous who is suspended for the tie. Boumous has been a crucial cog in ATKMB’s attack. In nine ISL matches this season, he has scored five goals and provided three assists for the club. He is currently the joint highest goal scorer for the club.
Head coach Juan Ferrando’s primary concern will be their backline that has so far shipped 18 goals. They have now gone seven matches without a clean sheet, their joint-highest such run in the ISL.
“Odisha look like a strong team at this point in time. It think it will be a difficult game,” Ferrando commented. On playing two games lesser than the rest of the teams, he said, “I don’t think there is any advantage that exists.”
Odisha meanwhile got back their mojo with a convincing win over laggards NorthEast United FC but coach Kino Garcia will know full well that ATKMB are a different kettle of fish.
Odisha are winless against ATKMB in 2 matches. The Mariners are one of the two active teams who have never lost to Odisha, the other being FC Goa.
For Odisha, Aridai Cabrera has been in top form scoring in each of Odisha’s last two wins. In fact, all his goals this season have come in games that Odisha won. Javi Hernandez has also been in fine touch, and coach Garcia would hope the duo can fire against a solid ATKMB.
“We know that they have really powerful attackers and we have a plan for that. We do have our chances to win points from this game,” said Kino Garcia.
ATK Mohun Bagan’s full squad have returned to training following multiple COVID-19 cases in the camp. However, the Mariners will be without ace midfielder Hugo Boumous, who is suspended for this clash. ATKMB’s backup goalkeeper Avilash Paul is out for the season with an injury. The club have already signed veteran Subrata Paul as his replacement.
Odisha FC coach Kino Sanchez is likely to have a fully fit squad available at his disposal for this big clash.
ATK Mohun Bagan and Odisha FC have clashed twice in the ISL, since ATK’s merger with I-League champions Mohun Bagan. The Mariners have won both matches, the last by a 4-1 margin. Overall in the ISL, they have met on 14 occasions in ISL and ATKMB leads the H2H record with seven wins, while Odisha have managed only two wins.
ATK Mohun Bagan: Amrinder (GK); Ashutosh, Kotal, Tiri, Bose; Tangri, McHugh; Manvir, Liston; Williams, Krishna.
Odisha FC: Arshdeep (GK); Sailo, Rodas, Mongil, Sahil; Thoiba Singh, Issac V; Jerry, Javi, Aridai Cabrera; Daniel Lalhlinpuia.
Did You Know?
- Liston Colaco is the highest-scoring Indian player in the ISL this season – with five goals so far.
- No defender in the ISL has made interceptions than Pritam Kotal (26) this season.
- Roy Krishna boasts an excellent record against Odisha and has scored six goals in four meetings against them in the ISL.
ATK Mohun Bagan vs Odisha FC match will be played at the Fatorda Stadium on January 23 (Sunday). The game will be telecast live on the Star Sports Network. The match will also be live streamed on the Disney+Hotstar platform and the JioTV app.