Bengaluru FC will host ATK in both teams' last ISL league stage engagements for the season, at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Saturday. Both sides have already qualified for the playoffs, and with top spot safely in FC Goa's hands now, there is little to nothing to play for at the Kanteerava this weekend.
Bengaluru have an AFC Cup second leg playoff to play on Wednesday, so it will be no surprise if Carles Cuadrat decides to rest some of his regular starters in order to ensure that some of his youngsters get more game-time with the first team.
It is also an opportunity for both coaches to rest players on three yellow cards, or risk them being suspended for the first leg of the semifinal. ISL regulations state that all yellow cards are wiped out at the end of the league stage, and players can begin the playoffs with a clean slate.
Bengaluru FC v ATK: Match Information
Date: 22nd February 2020
Kickoff: 7:30 PM IST
Live Stream: Star Sports Network and Hotstar
Venue: Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru
Bengaluru FC v ATK: Team News
Carles Cuadrat's side only arrived in Bengaluru on Friday morning, after playing the first leg of their AFC Cup playoff against Maziya in the Maldives on Wednesday. The Spaniard said that with this game not being decisive, it gives him an opportunity to test his bench strength, with the likes of Prabhsukhan Gill, Gursimrat Gill, Parag Shrivas and Leon Augustine being promised game time in this one.
Erik Paartalu, Albert Serran, Dimas Delgado and Ashique Kuruniyan are all walking the suspension tight-rope, and most, if not all of them are likely to sit this one out.
Antonio Habas has Javi Hernandez suspended for this game, and only Sehnaj Singh to protect from suspension. The ATK boss is likely to use this game to ensure peak match-fitness for the likes of David Williams, who hasn't quite been his old self after returning from injury.
Anas Edathodika is injured, and so is Agus. That could mean a first ISL appearance of the season for Blues favourite John Johnson, who returns to the city that he called home for five years, and one where he is still a cult figure.
Bengaluru FC v ATK: Probable Lineups
Bengaluru FC: Prabhsukhan Gill, Rahul Bheke, Gursimrat Gill, Juanan Gonzalez, Parag Shrivas, Harmanjot Singh Khabra, Suresh Wangjam, Nili Perdomo, Semboi Haokip, Kevaughn Frater, Deshorn Brown
ATK: Arindam Bhattacharya, Pritam Kotal, John Johnson, Victor Mongil, Sumit Rathi, Prabir Das, Jayesh Rane, Mandi Sosa, Edu Garcia, David Williams, Roy Krishna
Bengaluru FC v ATK: ISL Form Guide
Bengaluru FC: L-D-W-W-L
Bengaluru FC v ATK Head-to-Head
The Blues have played ATK five times before, and have lost only once, when Williams scored the winner at the Salt lake Stadium earlier this season.
Both previous meetings between these two sides at the Kanteerava have ended 1-0 to Bengaluru, with Sunil Chhetri scoring the winner in the 2017-18 season, while Erik Paartalu rose to head Bengaluru to victory last season.
Bengaluru FC wins: 4
ATK wins: 1
Bengaluru FC v ATK Prediction
Bengaluru's Kanteerava form has been almost spotless, while ATK will still be smarting from that loss to Chennaiyin, which ended their hopes of finishing atop the league standings.
However, with Bengaluru prepared to heavily rotate the pack, we're going with a comfortable away win in this one.
Prediction: Bengaluru FC 0-2 ATKPublished 21 Feb 2020, 19:36 IST