ISL 2019-20: Mumbai City FC Face ATK, Aim to Continue Winning Streak
Indian Super League 2019-20: Mumbai City FC will be hoping to continue their recent unbeaten run when they host ATK.
Mumbai City FC. (Photo Credit: ISL)
Mumbai: Hosts Mumbai City FC would be aiming to continue their unbeaten streak, but are likely to face perhaps their toughest challenge when they play ATK in the Indian Super League here on Saturday.
Mumbai registered their first 'home win' against laggards Hyderabad FC (2-1) when the two sides met at the Mumbai Football Arena last Sunday, with Modou Sougou scoring a brace.
The Jorge Costa-managed team is unbeaten in the last six games and would take confidence from their win against Hyderabad.
Currently, the hosts are fourth on the points table, while their opponents ATK are comfortably placed at the second spot with 18 points.
The winning side will get three points.
All eyes would be on Sougou, who finally delivered for his coach and broke his goal-less stint.
If he fires on all cylinders, then it will be tough for ATK defence.
Apart from Sougou, it would be interesting to see whether their top-goal scorer Amine Chermiti (four goals), benched in the game against Hyderabad as he was coming from an injury, makes a comeback or not.
Mumbai's key mid-fielder Paulo Machado is out for the entire season owing to an injury.
In his absence, others like Diego Carlos, Gabonese Serge Angoue, Mohamed Larbi, Mohammed Rafique, Rowllin Borges and Raynier Fernandes will have to step up and deliver.
Carlos had a good outing against Hyderabad and would want to continue it.
Mumbai, however, need to improve their defence.
Their goal-keeper Amridner Singh conceded a goal in their last game, but saved many.
In the 10 games he has played, Singh has only two clean-sheets, a concern for the team management.
Costa said they were prepared for any situation.
"It's not the first time we are playing against them. Yes, it's true that it's different when the opponent team has a different system. Also, they don't play all the games with three at the back, sometimes they play with four.
"So, we must be prepared for both situations and we are," he said.
On the other hand, ATK are coming to the contest after going past defending champions Bengaluru FC 1-0 in Kolkata.
The visitors have strong strikers like Balwant Singh, Edu Garcia, David Williams and Roy Krishna, who can challenge any defence and Mumbai would be no exception on their given day.
In fact, Krishna has eight goals to his name this season itself, while Williams has five and Garcia has three.
ATK defenders like Anas Edathodika, Pritam Kotal, Ankit Mukherjee among others will man the line and they would have to be on their toes to thwart the Mumbai attack.
Their custodian Arindam Bhattacharja, who has five clean-sheets to his name, would be keen on adding one more to the list.
ATK coach Habas described Mumbai as a talented opposition.
"I think that Mumbai City is a very talented opponent. They play in a manner in which it is possible to create problems in defence because they have good strikers, good wingers and they are strong in defence.
"But I think that we have to use our chances to pick up three points," Habas said, adding they will miss the services of their defender Agus Garcia, who is injured
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