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ISL GW 17 Preview: ATK host Mumbai City, desperate Bengaluru entertain FC Goa

Written by: Uttiyo Sarkar


The week will see some crunch ties being played out as the league phase heads to its conclusion. 

The Indian Super League (ISL) league stage is quickly heading to closure and with FC Goa and Bengaluru FC already having qualified for the playoffs, only two spots remain vacant. Four teams still remain in contention for filling out the remaining positions and this week will decide who goes onto the knockout stages and who ends up getting knocked out. With some crucial games in the fray, here is our preview for game-week 17 of the ISL.

NorthEast United vs FC Pune City

Date & Venue: 20th February/ Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati

Time & Broadcast: 07:30 PM IST/ Star Sports 3, Hotstar and JioTV

NorthEast United are on the brink of their first-ever qualification into the ISL playoffs and only need one victory to guarantee it. With their fans behind them, the Highlanders will play with everything they’ve gotten to seal a spot into the knockout stages. FC Pune City have won both their last two away games and will want to make it three in a trot, while also ruining NorthEast United’s party and continuing their surge under Phil Brown.

NorthEast and FC Pune City have faced each other nine times in the ISL, winning four games apiece and drawing only one.

At this point, Eelco Schattorie won’t tinker with his team and retain the 4-2-3-1 formation which has worked wonders. The Highlanders will hope to remain strong defensively and for their free-firing attack to spark up their home one more time to help them qualify for playoffs in style.

NorthEast United Vs FC Goa probable lineups 

Phil Brown will also go with the 3-4-3 formation and want his boys to retain the momentum from the Jamshedpur FC rout. The Stallions will play on the attack and try to take advantage of NorthEast’s defensive frailties to produce a similar kind of dominant result away from home.

Bartholomew Ogbeche’s the reason or NorthEast United’s joys this season and it’s only fair he powers them into qualifying for the playoffs. Ogbeche will look to maintain his fantastic goal-scoring touch and give the fans something to smile about on Wednesday.

Robin Singh has found inspired form under Phil Brown’s system, scoring a fantastic brace against Jamshedpur the other day. He’ll look to continue bullying defenders with his physicality while stitching together chances for his attacking compatriots and try to add to his goal-scoring tally even more.

Bengaluru FC vs FC Goa

Date & Venue: 21st February/ Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru

Time & Broadcast: 07:30 PM IST/ Star Sports 3, Hotstar and JioTV

The battle for supremacy at the top of the ISL table has its final showdown. Bengaluru FC and FC Goa both have points to prove and show who’s the superior giant of ISL. While the Blues come into the game in poor form, quite the opposite of Goa, they’re difficult to contain at the Kanteerava, which will be home to a thrilling bout on Thursday.

Bengaluru holds the upper hand over the Gaurs, winning two of the three times they’ve met in the ISL.

Carlos Cuadrat admitted making mistakes in his side’s defeat to Delhi Dynamos and although he’ll continue with the 4-2-3-1 formation, he’ll make changes to his side. Sunil Chhetri and Udanta Singh both should return to the lineup. The Blues will need to be defensively stronger to keep out Goa and find back their majestic attacking threat to get the three points.

Bengaluru FC Vs FC Goa probable lineups 

FC Goa will also go with a 4-2-3-1 formation and Sergio Lobera probably won’t be making any changes from their win against Kerala Blasters. Knowing Bengaluru’s vulnerability, he’ll want his side to press high and play incisive, attacking football and will want nothing more than three points from the Kanteerava.

Miku’s goal-scoring boots have vanished at the worst possible period for Bengaluru, but knowing the Venezuelan's ability, he can find back his touch in no time. Miku loves playing at the Kanteerava and will need his lethal instincts back to trouble FC Goa and get back among the goals.

Jackichand Singh is in blazing form and enjoying working through the right-wing for FC Goa. He’ll look to cause nightmares for Nishu Kumar with his pace and work through his side to create chances and get among the goals to give Goa a big leap towards winning the league stages.

ATK vs Mumbai City FC

Date & Venue: 22nd February/ Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata

Time & Broadcast: 07:30 PM IST/ Star Sports 3, Hotstar and JioTV

The odds are heavily stacked against ATK in their quest to qualifying for the playoffs spot, but desperately need to win against Mumbai City FC to keep glimmering hopes barely alive. The Islanders will aim to seal their qualification and break their hearts at the Salt Lake Stadium, which could produce an intense affair on Friday night.

ATK have faced off against Mumbai City FC 11 times in the ISL, winning four games as compared to the Islanders' four wins. The sides have played out three draws as well.

ATK will retain the 4-2-3-1 formation and play with a much-attacking vigour because of the urgent need for goals. Komal Thatal might come in for Everton Santos, while Andre Bikey could be brought in as well. Steve Coppell will want his side to play on the attack and need to win big to keep their hopes alive.

ATK Vs Mumbai City FC probable lineups 

Mumbai City FC also operates with a 4-3-3 formation and will look to turn around their dejected form at Kolkata. Jorge Costa can make a few changes to his injury-ravaged side, as Mohamed Rafique could return to the lineup. The Islanders will look to maintain defensive solidity and work on the counter-attack to hurt ATK and get a precious win.

Edu Garcia’s ATK’s biggest attacking threat right now and will aim to light up the Salt Lake Stadium once again. The Spaniard’s been a whirlwind in their attack, with his movement and urgency troubling teams, and he’ll hope to retain his attacking threat against Mumbai.

Modou Sogou’s been enduring a rough-patch lately and will want to end his goal-scoring woes against ATK. Sogou’s a clinical striker of the ball and will want to prove his predatorial instincts by troubling ATK’s defenders and getting back among the goals.

Chennaiyin FC vs Jamshedpur FC

Date & Venue: 23rd February/ Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai

Time & Broadcast: 07:30 PM IST/ Star Sports 3, Hotstar and JioTV

In their final home match of the season, Chennaiyin FC will look to give their fans something to enjoy, playing like champions and regaining some momentum in the final stages. Jamshedpur FC, on the other hand, needs a win to get back into the mix for the playoffs spot and will need Mumbai City to lose to ATK to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Chennaiyin FC and Jamshedpur FC have won one game apiece in three encounters, with the other game being a draw.

The Marina Machans will continue operating with a 4-2-3-1 formation, but Anirudh Thapa could return to the starting eleven. They’ll look to scrub off the humiliation against Kerala and get back to playing an effective, attractive style of attacking football to entertain their fans one last time this season.

Chennaiyin FC Vs Jamshedpur FC probable lineups

Jamshedpur FC will also play a 4-2-3-1 formation, and Michael Soosairaj should return to the starting lineup in this crunch game. Cesar Ferrando will hope the wingers’ return can inspire the Men of Steel into producing some incisive, passing football which is too good for the defending champions and come away with all three points from Chennai.

CK Vineeth had a day to forget against Kerala Blasters, producing a lacklustre performance. He’ll aim to bounce back from that by troubling Jamshedpur’s shaky defence with his clinical movement and showcase his dangerous predatorial instincts to score his first goal for Chennaiyin FC.

Michael Soosairaj has missed some crunch games for Jamshedpur FC recently due to injuries and needs to get back to his best quickly. Soosairaj will need to showcase his trickery on the ball and dazzle Chennaiyin FC with his brilliant movement with the ball. Ferrando will bank on him to be Jamshedpur’s creator against Chennaiyin and for him to produce winning goals for his side.


FC Pune City vs Delhi Dynamos

Date & Venue: 24th February/ Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium, Pune

Time & Broadcast: 07:30 PM IST/ Star Sports 3, Hotstar and JioTV

FC Pune City might not have enjoyed much success at home this season, but will aim to turn that around by continuing their rise under Phil Brown with a much-needed home win to help them keep the pressure on ATK and Jamshedpur FC above them. Delhi Dynamos have also struck form at the late stages and are booming in confidence due to recent results, as they’ll look to burst the Stallions bubble and keep their own resurgence intact.

The Stallions have only won once in nine meetings against Delhi Dynamos, who have come on top four times and four meetings have been drawn.

Phil Brown will continue with his effective 3-4-3 formation with the Stallions and allow them more freedom in the attack at home. He’ll expect them to continue their solid link-up play and to entertain fans with impressive attacking work against the Lions.

Delhi Dynamos Vs FC Pune City probable lineups 

Delhi Dynamos will also retain their 4-2-3-1 formation, as Daniel Lalhimpuia should get a start after his blitz against Bengaluru FC. Josep Gombau will hope that inspired win can boost his side’s momentum and for the Lions to produce similar fireworks at Pune to put an end to their resurgence.

Marcelinho has found new life under Phil Brown’s system, which is allowing him to move forward freely and showcase his clever feet. The Spaniard will aim to tantalize Delhi’s defence with his trickery and keep up his inspired form to give the home fans some joy.

Lallianzuala Chhangte looks a confident figure after returning from trials at Norway and seemed dangerous as ever against Bengaluru FC. The brilliant left-winger will aim to expose The Stallions defensive frailties with his pace and get back among the goals for his side.

Published: Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:12 PM IST


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