Atletico are placed third with 18 points from 12 matches and will be guaranteed of a top-four finish with a draw against Kerala Blasters. The former champions enjoy a superior head-to-head record against both Kerala Blasters and NorthEast United FC, while only one of those team can overtake Delhi Dynamos’ points tally as they battle amongst themselves in the concluding league clash.
Based on current form, the hosts will be favourites to become the third team to book their place.
“The work that these players have been doing since the day one gives me confidence. They are working really hard. They are improving. They are trying to do their best and help the team,” said Molina during the pre-match media interaction.
Atletico de Kolkata scored a last-gasp 2-1 victory against FC Goa in their last match. It was a match they dominated and deserved to score more goals, a fact that was emphasised by the Spanish coach.
“We had a great match in Goa. We could have scored more goals but I think the players now don’t worry to take on anyone. It doesn’t matter which teams is in front of us. It’s all the same. We try to dominate the game, defend well and score as many goals as possible,” said Molina.
Atletico de Kolkata are sweating on the fitness of star midfielder Sameehg Doutie, besides Stephen Pearson and Lalrindika Ralte. While Doutie has fever and didn’t train with the team, Lalrindika and Pearson have not yet recovered from injuries.
Kerala Blasters have done well to reach the fourth spot for now after collecting just a point from their first three matches. A win for Kerala Blasters will take them closer to the semi-final spot (97.53%), although they will not be guaranteed a top four place as they are dependent on head-to-head record of teams who can reach 21 points like Atletico de Kolkata, Delhi Dynamos and NorthEast United FC.
This can be another game of two halves. Whilst Kolkata are known to be strong starters, Kerala, on the other hand, are notorious for waking up in the second forty-five. Whilst this a game contested by two very evenly matched sides, the home factor (although hasn’t worked so far) and the urge to get a point from the game should tilt this in favour of Atletico. 1-0 in favour of the hosts for us.
Live stream info
The game will be live for all viewers across India on the Hotstar app.
More Indian Football news, transfer rumours, analysis and features at Sportskeeda.com