Indian Super League table toppers, Atletico de Kolkata, will travel to meet FC Goa. The Goan team has played two games and yet to register a victory. A home loss against Chennaiyin and an away draw with NorthEast United see them with only 1 point. ATK, on the other hand, is experiencing contrasting fortunes. ATK has won twice and drawn once to lift themselves at the top with 7 points from 3 games.
The Goan team, coached by Brazilian legend Zico and featuring Arsenal legend Robert Pires will be looking to earn all three points in this home game. Zico has urged not to put too much pressure on Robert Pires and everybody needs to chip in. Interestingly, both the two Goan goals were scored by Grégory Arnolin, FC Goa’s central defender. Zico also urged his attacking players to find the net, and said that he cannot rely on his central defender to score the goals.
The Atletico de Kolkata team maybe at the top of the table, but they too are plagued by their share of problems. With three games in a week, with an unchanged squad (with exception of Borja Fernandes, who missed out due to a red card) might have taken its toll on players fitness. Even in the last game against Delhi, they seemed less mobile than usual. Marquee player Luis Garcia not fully fit and is likely to miss out of this game. Bangladesh captain Mamunul has left for his country to join the national team squad. Indian defensive midfielder Rakesh Masih will miss the game due to suspension. It would be interesting to see whether ATK coach Habas decides to bring a few new faces and rest some of the players who had featured in all three games. Couple of Indian players who are in contention of playing this game are Lester Fernandes, the midfielder and left back N. Mohanraj. Fans will also want to see East Bengal medio Cavin Lobo, whose I-League performances were praiseworthy. One big boost for ATK will be the return of Borja Fernandes from suspension. The former Real Madrid player scored a world class goal for ATK against Mumbai and dominates the midfield in general.
Zico is likely to play 4-1-4-1, while Habas will probably play a 4-2-3-1, which for large periods transits into a 4-5-1 formation, with emphasis on counter attack and long passes to striker Fikru.