Durand Cup 2019: Mohun Bagan vs ATK | Match Preview, Team News, Live Streaming details
Former I-League champions Mohun Bagan will lock horns with two-time Indian Super League winners ATK at the former's club ground on Thursday afternoon. We have seen how a match between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal attracts spectators to the stadiums. Hopefully, we are going to witness a considerable amount of footfall when the two local outfits cross paths at the Kolkata ‘Maidan.’
Mohun Bagan will seek redemption after a humiliating 0-3 loss to Peerless in the Calcutta Football League last Monday. Even though the team looked well settled in the opening match of the Durand Cup against Mohammedan Sporting Club, they suffered a major setback a couple of days later.
Bagan need to improve their defence line, as they were shattered in the previous match by Peerless. Kibu started the match with an all-Indian back four, but the outcome was worse. Forced to send in Spanish Fran Gonzalez as a central defender in the second half, his team conceded two more goals towards the end.
Arch-rivals East Bengal already have a foot on the semi-finals, having won two back to back matches, one against Army Red and Jamshedpur FC each. This onus will be on the ‘Green and Maroon’ brigade to get back to winning ways and secure a place in the top four of the competition.
It is a must-win game for ATK, having played out a 1-1 draw against Indian Navy at the Salt Lake Stadium at the beginning of this week. A relatively young squad, led by Prabir Das did not play effective football in the opener. They were often caught on the back foot by the men from the Indian Navy. A late goal from a spot-kick saved the day for the red and white stripes.
The match will be played at a different venue, which may cause problems for ATK. The Mohun Bagan ground has smaller dimensions compared to the Salt Lake Stadium. But Bagan lost their last match at the ground by a 0-3 margin to Calcutta Football League opponents Peerless.
Hence, we can negate the home advantage factor from the fixture and expect an evenly fought contest at the Kolkata ‘Maidan’ this Thursday afternoon.
Joseba Beitia (Mohun Bagan)
The Spanish footballer showed his class in the opening game against Mohammedan Sporting Club last Friday. He controlled the game throughout, distributed the ball on either end and was the main initiator of the attacks. But he was strggling a bit in the following game against Peerless.
Brushing aside the humiliating defeat, the playmaker will try to prove his worth once again for his team. Hopefully, he will learn from his mistakes from the previous match and bring joy to the supporters who turn up in huge numbers at the stadium.
Prabir Das (ATK)
The most experienced player in the squad, Prabir Das was out of action for the majority of the last season owing to an ailing injury. Desperate to cement his place in the playing XI, the side-back will make the most use of the tournament to prepare himself in the build-up to the Indian Super League.
We have already seen how lethal can Prabir if he plays his natural game. The ability to produce the long ball to the attacking third is his forte. The former Mohun Bagan player will play a vital part when he takes the field in the upcoming match. It will be a homecoming for Prabir, who played at the century-old club for three seasons.
Mohun Bagan vs ATK
Date: 8 August 2019
Kick-off: 3:00 PM IST
Live Stream: addatimes app, addatimes.com
Venue: Mohun Bagan ground, Kolkata
On papers, Mohun Bagan have a much stronger side. With their back against the wall after the loss to Peerless in the Calcutta Football League, 'The Mariners' are expected to give their best shot in the upcoming game.
Predicted score: Mohun Bagan 2-0 ATK