AFC Cup Qualifiers – The Mariners face the Nizams in Playoffs

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Familiar foes Hyderabad FC and ATK Mohun Bagan will go head-to-head again this season in the Hero Club Playoffs at the EMS Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode, Kerala tonight, with the aim of securing a place in the AFC Cup 2023-24 preliminary round spot which is up for grabs.

This upcoming one-off tie promises to be another thrilling battle between the two evenly matched sides, with the winner of this match going one step further to represent the country at the second tier of the continental level club competition to be played during the next season.

AFC Cup Qualifiers - The Mariners face the Nizams in Playoffs 1683058160472 edited scaled

This will be the fifth meeting between the two sides this season having faced each other twice during the Hero ISL league stage and over two legs in the semi-finals. Just two goals were scored across these four games, thus highlighting the defensive prowess of both sides.

ATK Mohun Bagan, who endured a third-place finish, finished their campaign on a high by winning the Hero ISL title. Meanwhile, second-placed Hyderabad FC, on the other hand, went down to ATK Mohun Bagan on penalties, missing out on the chance to defend the Hero ISL title.


Form Guide This Season

Hyderabad FC ATK Mohun Bagan
Matches Played3131
Matches Won1814
Matches Drawn68
Matches Lost79
Goals Scored5339
Goals Conceded2628

Hyderabad FC

The Nizams went on until the Durand Cup’s sem-finals, where they ultimately lost out to eventual champions Bengaluru FC by a solitary goal. In the league stage of the Indian Super League, Hyderabad FC finished second in the league stage table and directly qualified for the semi-finals in the playoff stage where they saw a defeat to the Mariners on penalties there after witnessing two goalless draws. Whereas in the Super Cup, they failed to get out of their group, as they lost their final deciding match against the Super Cup Champions Odisha FC.

AFC Cup Qualifiers - The Mariners face the Nizams in Playoffs 1683058911416 edited

ATK Mohun Bagan FC

The Mariners had a shocking start to their season as they couldn’t manage to go beyond the group stages in the Durand Cup due to a lesser goal difference. In the league stage table, they finished in the 3rd position and had to play the eliminators on their course to the ISL playoffs stage where they defeated Hyderabad FC (in the semi-finals) and Bengaluru FC (in the finals) both with the help of penalty shootouts. In the Super Cup, ATK Mohun Bagan once again was stopped in the group stages as Jamshedpur FC got the upper hand early with a better GD.


All-Time Head-To-Head Records

Previous Meetings – 10 Matches

ATK Mohun Bagan wins – 3 Matches

Hyderabad FC wins – 2 Matches

Matches Tied – 5 Matches

Goals Scored – 10:10 (HFC:ATKMB)

As indicated by the above data, ATK Mohun Bagan has the slightest edge in the tie between the two sides in the past. But, Hyderabad can win tonight’s game and equal their record. Five of the previous matches had ended in a draw, including the last two meetings between the side in the semi-finals. Both teams have scored the same number of goals against each other, thus making the contest against each other very competitive.


Probable Starting Lineups

AFC Cup Qualifiers - The Mariners face the Nizams in Playoffs LINEUP111683059530774 edited

This is how we feel that Hyderabad FC can line up tonight against the Mariners. With the likes of Bartholomew Ogbeche, Joel Chianese, Abdul Rabeeh, Rohit Danu, and others on the bench the Nizams have quite a few options to choose from in case Manolo Marquez feels that their usual starters fail to do the task in the given time. Borja will most likely play as an attacking midfielder just ahead of the duo of Sahil Tavora and Joao Victor. Halicharan Narzary and Mohammed Yasir will give pace and trickery to the side on the flanks, while Siverio will be the lone striker upfront.

In defense, Nikhil Poojari and Akash Mishra will be going up and down the field during the whole game to provide crosses and defensive cover as per requirement. While Sana and Onaindia will form a defensive unit in the middle to give some assistance to third-choice goalkeeper Anuj Kumar as Gurmeet Singh is suspended and Laxmikant Kattimani still remains unfit to play.

AFC Cup Qualifiers - The Mariners face the Nizams in Playoffs LINEUP111683047823526 edited

This is how we feel that ATK Mohun Bagan FC can line up tonight against the Nizams. Captain Pritam Kotal will fill in the void of Ashish Rai who is expected to miss out. Hamill will be slotted in Pritam’s place at the center-back position and he will pair up with Slavko Damjanovic to give the team a solid defensive cover ahead of the ISL Golden Glove Winner Vishal Kaith. Subhasish Bose will play as the left-back and will look to exploit the spaces to go forward and whip crosses.

Glan Martins and Puitea will act as double pivots at the defensive midfield position. Meanwhile, Hugo Boumous will be running the show in the middle of the park as he will be seen creating most attacks and feeding precisely through balls to quick wingers Liston Colaco & Manvir Singh.

Petratos will be tasked to do the damage upfront by scoring the goals. There are plenty of players in the Mariner’s artillery such as the likes of Carl McHugh, Ashique Kuruniyan, Federico Gallego, and others to bring on if Juan Ferrando feels there is any necessity to bring them later on.


IFTWC’s Predictions

We think it will be a very tight game between Hyderabad FC and ATK Mohun Bagan. We can see just one goal settling the game for either side. It also depends on the clinical form of the attackers as well, as they are likely to determine the fate of tonight’s high-voltage contest. The results between the two teams have been tied after four meetings in the Indian Super League this season, which intensify the rivalry between the two sides.

For ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Juan Ferrando always has pressure from upstairs, and it is something he loves and hates at the same time. With Asian football on the line, the pressure will be usual for him. The Mariners will go all out, as it’s a risk vs reward situation tonight with the Nizams being a playoff spot for the AFC Cup on the line, they still have a lot of work to do if they are to get past this organized Hyderabad FC side.

AFC Cup Qualifiers - The Mariners face the Nizams in Playoffs 1683057927417 edited scaled

It will also be coach Manolo Marquez’s last game in charge and that might just be the spur they need to go over the line and win the match. The players will go out and give it their all against an ATK Mohun Bagan side that is going to be very difficult to break down on the night. They want to go out by sealing that AFC Cup place but of course, he won’t be there to coach the team should they make it. Hyderabad FC always wants to perform brilliantly and win games. The winning mentality that has been instilled in them by the coach over the last couple of seasons will help.


Match Details and Streaming/Telecast Information

Match Name – Hero Club Playoffs 2022 (Hyderabad FC vs ATK Mohun Bagan)

Match Reward – A place in the AFC Cup 2023/24 preliminary round.

Match Venue – EMS Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode, Kerala.

Match Date – On the 3rd of May, 2022 (Wednesday)

Match Kickoff Time – From 7 PM (IST) in Evening.

Telecast Channel – Sony Ten 2 Channel

Streaming App/Website – Sony Liv, Jio TV, and FanCode.


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Liven Bose
Liven Bose
A die-hard Mohun Bagan supporter and Indian Football fan from Kolkata who dreams of seeing glorious and successful days ahead.

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