ATK is set to host Mumbai City at the Salt Lake stadium for another epic encounter in the Indian Super League. A win for the visitors will confirm their place in the ISL playoffs this season, but they will still have a chance in their last league game against Maharashtra rivals, FC Pune City.
ATK also has a slim chance of making it into the top-4, and they still look hopeful. Both the side will face each other for the second time in this edition of the Hero ISL. The previous encounter at Mumbai ended in a 0-0 draw.
Mumbai City is on the verge of qualifying for the next round as they are placed fourth in the points table. They can’t afford to lose this match which would imperil their playoff hopes. The visitors started their campaign wonderfully and became a force to reckon with in this edition of ISL. Recently some slump performances have let them down; however, they would be hoping to bounce back with a win in the upcoming match. Jorge Costa’s regime, who have lost three league games in a row, needs to get back in form before it’s too late.
Jorge Costa, Mumbai City's boss, is confident about a top-four finish. He said “We are in better position, that is true. We are depending on ourselves and not on other things. So, we are in a better position knowing that ATK can also reach the top four. I’m not expecting an easy game tomorrow.”
On the contrary, ATK had a terrible start to their campaign where they lost both their opening matches. Following a series of poor performances, the team from Kolkata is out of the contention for the playoff berth. The hosts have the least number of scored goals(15) this season which was one of the primary reasons why they will not finish in top-4. They will be looking to make some changes in the starting lineup to some youngsters a chance to express themselves. Having lost their last match by 3-0 against Kerala Blasters, the home side would be hoping to end their forgettable season on a high.
ATK's head coach Steve Coppell remains hopeful ahead of this crunch contest. He said, “It’s very difficult to qualify, but it’s possible to qualify. So, we cling onto that hope. Just as any ordinary game of football, we’d like to win the game. If we were to win the game, Mumbai will be in reach of us. If we win the game, we’d have a better head-to-head against Mumbai. So, you never know what can happen.”
Published 22 Feb 2019, 14:47 IST