ATK will host league leaders Bengaluru FC
ATK are all set to host league leaders Bengaluru FC, in their sixth home game of the season. Bengaluru FC defeated the defending champions thanks to a first-half winner from the skipper Sunil Chhetri in the first leg fixture earlier and will aim to do the double over the struggling Kolkata side.
The home team are currently in a do-or-die situation and can’t afford to lose a game going forward in the season. They are the only side in the ISL to have always finished into the top four and would like to continue the trend this time as well. They are the worst attacking side of the league but will aim to bounce back tonight.
On the other side, Bengaluru FC are coming on the back of two consecutive wins and would like to break the trend of not completing a hat-trick of wins in the season so far. They have won two back-to-back matches thrice earlier this season but couldn’t manage to make it three in a row even once.
Last time around in a similar situation, they had even lost to the bottom of the table side Delhi Dynamos FC. Bengaluru FC will look to confirm their top spot for yet another week.
Atletico de Kolkata head coach Ashley Westwood doesn’t want to rule out the possibility of them making into the playoffs. He believes even five wins in remaining six games could help them secure a place in the top 4. Considering the current form of ATK, this looks like a next to impossible task for the defending champions.
The former Bengaluru coach Westwood believes this is just another game for his side and they need to go all guns blazing to take home all three points tonight. With Robbie Keane fit for the game, we are expecting Keane, Prabir and Thorpe to replace Robin, Ashutosh and Cotterill in the starting XI.
The Englishman is expected to field his boys in 4-1-4-1 formation to keep a balance between both aspects of the game and use the width to a great effect.
ATK Probable Starting XI: Debjit, Prabir, Thorpe, Montel, Keegan, Thomas, Hitesh, Rupart, Jayesh, Keane, Peterson.
Bengaluru FC head coach Albert Roca is in no mood to take ATK lightly and hinted that he would field the best possible XI tonight. He is just thinking of a playoff spot as of now and not thinking much about title. He seems to be bit concerned about his boys not keeping the clean-sheet in last 3 games and will have to address the issue going into the business end of the league.
With Dimas not fully fit for starting the game, we are expecting an unchanged line-up for Blues tonight. The Spaniard is most likely to continue his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation to dominate the game in mid-field area.
Bengaluru FC Probable Starting XI: Gurpreet, Khabra, Juanan, Johnson, Subhasish, Lenny, Paartalu, Gracia, Udanta, Chhetri, Miku.
ATK 2-1 Bengaluru FC
Considering the long trend with the Blues, we are expecting ATK to keep their chances for playoffs alive and take home all 3 points tonight. Bengaluru FC will have to work extremely hard to break their jinx of not completing a hat-trick in the ISL 2017/18.