ISL 2018: ATK announce friendly against Premier League side Fulham FC
What's the story?
Two-time champions ATK (Formerly Atletico de Kolkata) have announced that they will be taking on Premier League side Fulham in a friendly on September 8. The two teams will face each other in the Pinatar Arena Football Centre in Murcia, Spain.
In case you didn't know...
Despite ATK's latest announcement, the Kolkata-based side is not the first ISL team to go up against an English Premier League opposition. They were beaten to the milestone by fellow ISL side Delhi Dynamos when they played West Bromwich Albion in a friendly in 2016.
The Dynamos went on to lose the match courtesy of a solitary goal by James Smith.
The heart of the matter
ATK took to Twitter to announce a friendly match against Premier League side Fulham FC. It is only the second time that an Indian Super League side will go up against a Premier League team.
Both the teams will meet in Murcia, Spain for this one-off friendly match. While ATK are in Spain for their pre-season, Fulham will arrive for a one-week training camp in the middle of the season due to the international break.
Despite this, the London-based club is expected to field a strong squad containing the likes of club captain Tom Cairney and former Chelsea star and World Cup winner Andre Schurrle.
Here is the list of players who will potentially be involved in the friendly: Floyd Ayité, Joe Bryan, Tom Cairney, Calum Chambers, Luca de la Torre, Harvey Elliott, Fabri, Tyrese Francois, Aboubakar Kamara, Maxime Le Marchand, Alfie Mawson, Denis Odoi, Matt O’Riley, Sergio Rico, Andre Schürrle, Luciano Vietto.
This is a unique opportunity for the two-time champions to strengthen, ahead of the 2018/19 season. Playing against a Premier League opposition will no doubt provide invaluable experience to ATK.
The Kolkata-based club will look to use the same experience when they face Kerala Blasters in the 2018/19 Indian Super League season opener on September 29.
How will ATK fare in their match against Fulham FC? Will this match provide ATK with the experience they need to lift their third ISL title?
Do let us know in the comments below.