ISL 2017/18, Match 52: FC Pune City vs ATK, Probable XI
FC Pune City are ready to welcome the defending champions ATK in their sixth home game of the ISL 2017/18 season at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium in Pune. Historically, ATK have managed to defeat Pune just once while the Stallions have emerged victorious four times against the Kolkata-based franchise.
The home team FC Pune City are coming at the back of a 1-0 defeat against Chennaiyin FC but they played in absence of their star striker Marcelinho. The Stallions will aim to better their performance at home as they have lost three out of their five home games this season. They will look to continue their domination against ATK tonight to strengthen their position in the top half of the points table.
On the other side, ATK are currently ranked eighth on the points table with just three wins in nine games. However, they have a chance to jump to fifth place with a win over Pune on Saturday. ATK have shown a much-improved performance in recent times and have lost just one out of their last five games (three wins and one draw). They will try to continue their good form and avenge their big 4-1 defeat in the reverse fixture against Pune, which is their biggest defeat of this season.
FC Pune City
FC Pune City assistant coach Vladica Grujic believes ATK are a strong team and have strong players like Zequinha, Robin, Hitesh etc. Marcelinho’s arrival is going to be a big boost for Stallions as he is one of the most important players for Pune. He must be happy with the defensive performance of the side as they have conceded fewest goals amongst the top six sides this season.
With Marcelinho coming in and Tebar getting suspended, we are expecting Marcelinho, Baljit and Sarthak to replace Ashique Kuruniyan, Tebar and Sahil in the starting XI from the previous game. We are expecting Pune to continue their attack-heavy 4-2-3-1 formation with Baljit playing as a right wing back.
FC Pune City Probable Starting XI: Vishal, Baljit, Sarthak, Rafael, Gurtej, Rohit, Adil, Lucca, Carlos, Marcelinho, Alfaro.
ATK head coach Teddy Sheringham doesn’t think Pune’s poor home form makes anything easy for them going into the game as he believes that home team always has an added advantage. He is surely eying avenging their loss in the reverse fixture.
Playing after a break of seven days, ATK have worked on their attack and defence before starting the second half of the season. We are not expecting any changes in the winning combination from last game against NorthEast United and would like to continue field the side in 4-2-3-1 formation to control the game in mid-field area.
ATK Probable Starting XI: Debjit, Prabir, Jordi, Thorpe, Keegan, Thomas, Taylor, Hitesh, Jayesh, Zequinha, Robin.
FC Pune City 3-1 ATK
With Marcelinho coming back from suspension, we are expecting similar results as the last encounter between both sides, with FC Pune City are most likely to take home all three points.