The Indian Super League 2020-21 has gone past the halfway mark and we still don’t have a clear picture on who is going to make the playoffs. The title contenders ATK Mohun Bagan will be battling it out against their familiar foe Chennaiyin FC on Thursday (January 21, 2021) at the Fatorda Stadium, Goa.
The Mariners have been too defensive this season and they are not arriving with a winning form. Their gameplay has been criticised lately as they had created fewer chances when compared to other teams in the league.
On the Other hand, the Marina Machans have also been too defensive and have drawn six out of their twelve games in the league. Laszlo’s team has created a lot of goal scoring chances (the most by a team) but they have just scored 10 goals in this season, the lowest by a team in this season.
3 Indian Players to Watch Out in this Game
Edwin Sydney Vanspaul (CFC), Manvir Singh (ATKMB) and Rahim Ali (CFC) are the three Indian Players to look out for in this match.
Due to the absence of their creator in chief Crivellaro, Laszlo has finally put his trust on the versatile Edwin to orchestrate the midfield. The Fan favourite “Edwin” started the last match against East Bengal and showed his class throughout the game. He looks to be in a good rhythm and he might be a force to reckon with in this game.
His fellow teammate Rahim Ali has been in superhot form lately and has already netted two goals in this season. Ali will be a serious threat in the Right flank and he is the go-to man for Laszlo. In Contrast, the Indian Forward Manvir Singh is a mere reflection of Rahim Ali and he is also having a good time in this season.
3 Foreign Players to Watch Out in this Game
Roy Krishna (ATKMB), Jakub Sylvestr (CFC) and Esmael Goncalves (CFC) are the three Overseas Players to look out for in this match.
The form of the former Fiji International Roy Krishna has recently dipped and he has just scored a solitary goal in the last five matches. This will be the perfect time for Krishna to bounce back and he might bring his A-Game against the inconsistent Chennaiyin.
Jakub Sylvestr’s time in India has been so hard and the Footballing Gods have been so crucial to him. Since Laszlo has run out of options, the Slovakian Striker will act as the temporary Attacking Midfielder until the arrival of the Spaniard, Manuel Lanzarote. Sylvestr has created the most number of chances in the tournament and will be the ideal man to spearhead the Chennaiyin midfield. The injury-prone Isma made an impactful comeback against Odisha FC and solved the goalscoring woes for the team. We have to have a keen eye on both the Chennaiyin forwards as they will play a vital role in this match.
The Men in Blue will miss the services of Anirudh Thapa and Enes Sipovic in this match as they both picked up injuries in the last match. CFC has a crucial encounter against the table toppers Mumbai City FC in the upcoming days and they surely won’t risk these lads in this game.
There are no injuries in the Green-Maroon Camp.
The Expected Line Up of ATK Mohun Bagan
Arindam Bhattacharya (GK), Sandesh Jhingan (CB), Tiri (CB), Pritam Kotal (CB), Subhasish Bose (LWB), Javi Hernandez (CM), Carl McHugh (CM), Edu Garcia (CM), Prabir Das (RWB), Roy Krishna (ST), Manvir Singh (ST)
Avliash Paul (GK), David Williams, Brad Inman, Sumit Rathi, Pronay Halder, Boris Singh, Glan Martins, Sheikh Sahil, Jayesh Rane.
The Expected Line Up of Chennaiyin FC
Vishal Kaith (GK), Jerry Lalrinzuala (LB), Eli Sabia (CB), Memo Moura (CB), Reagan Singh (RB), Edwin Sydney Vanspaul (DM), Deepak Tangri (DM), Lallianzuala Chhangte (LW), Jakub Sylvestr (AM), Rahim Ali (RW), Esmael Goncalves (ST)
Karanjit Singh (GK), Aman Chhetri, Anirudh Thapa, Lalchhuanmawia, Dhanpal Ganesh, Enes Sipovic, Fatkhullo Fathulloev, Germanpreet Singh, Thoi Singh.
Head to Head:
This will be the second encounter between the newly formed ATK Mohun Bagan and Chennaiyin FC. Before the merger, ATK has faced Chennai in the past and let us now look at how these teams fared against each other:
Played – 16 Matches
ATK– 7 Victories
CFC – 4 Victories
Draws – 5 Matches
Recent Fixture – (Draw) CFC 0 – 0 ATKMB (December 29, 2020)
Considering their recent form, Habas might come with a different game plan to tackle Csaba Laszlo’s men. ATK Mohun Bagan are currently seated second in the points table; they badly need a win to close the deficit with Mumbai City FC. So the Mariners will come out with all guns blazing and are expected to grab the three points to stay in the title race.