The championship-winning teams of both the sides, ATK and Mohun Bagan, have joined forces to post another strong challenge to the ISL crown. Even though the majority of ATK’s squad make up the backbone of the newly-formed club, the youngsters from Mohun Bagan will surely add some much needed depth in the ATK Mohun Bagan squad. Antonio Lopez Habas will coach the side.
It is not only the teams on the field that will come together but the fans of the two champions sides that will unite in support, albeit from afar, for the upcoming season at least.
The ‘Green and Maroon’ brigade come into the top football league of India with the urge to justify the title of being the ‘National Club of India’.
Not only one title-winning season, but coach Antonio Lopez Habas will have the option of calling on players from two. ATK’s attack last season was one of the more prolific ones in the league and the frailties in their defence have been addressed in the off season with shrewd acquisitions in the form of Subhasish Bose and Sandesh Jhingan.
The duo of David Williams and Roy Krishna, is expected to be lethal once again and added to the mix has been Manvir Singh.
ATK Mohun Bagan’s strength might just rely on their full back in defense and especially their versatility. The coach will have the choice of setting up the team either to play on the counter-attack, with 3 at the back with two wing-backs, or go for a more pragmatic midfield and attack, with 3 up top or a forward thinking diamond midfield.
ATK Mohun Bagan’s have their bases covered in most parts of the field, except to an extent in mid-field with Pranoy Halder and Jayesh Rane being the standout names in the middle of the park.
This fact may force coach Habas to have sleepless nights when deciding on whether to go with an all-Indian defence, an area they hade struggled with in the past. That may force the team overall to be too-defensive in their approach to certain games, against opposition who also play in a counter-attacking set up.
There also may be an over reliance on the attacking exploits of the star duo and any injuries may lead to falling back on less experienced Indian talent.
ISL 2019-20 PERFORMANCE
This is the first season that ATK Mohun Bagan are playing in the Indian Super League. ATK as a side are defending champions, having won the 2019-20 season for their record third ISL title.
MOST NOTABLE NEW SIGNINGS
The signing of Indian centre-back Sandesh Jhingan and versatile Subhasish Bose added mettle in defence for ATK Mohun Bagan. The lack of a proper left-footed player in the defensive half had been a headache for Habas’s ATK last season. The leadership abilities of Jhingan at the back will only help ATK MB. Manvir Singh will be an Indian option up to top as well as Brad Inman and SK Sahil will be pivotal additions in mid-field.
HISTORY IN ISL
ATK Mohun Bagan will be playing their first season in the ISL this season. ATK in the previous seasons have won the Indian Super League three times, in 2014, 106 and 2019-20 seasons.
CHANCES/PREDICTION IN ISL 2020-21
With two champions sides coming together, ATK Mohun Bagan will be expected to qualify for the play-offs at the minimum this season. Adding to the pressure will be the addition of arch-rivals SC East Bengal also in the ISL, and finishing above them will be of utmost importance.
A strong defence and attack will pose a serious threat on the ISL title as Antonio Lopez Habas looks to win his third ISL title as coach.
ATK Mohun Bagan is expected to finish in the top half of the points table and be challenging for the ISL 2020-21 title.
Goalkeepers: Arindam Bhattacharya, Dheeraj Singh, Avilash Paul, Arsh Shaikh, Aryan Lamba
Defenders: Sandesh Jhingan, Tiri, Pritam Kotal, Prabir Das, Subashish Bose, Sumit Rathi
Midfielders: Javi Hernandez, Michael Soosairaj, Boris Singh, Michael Regin, Edu Garcia, Carl McHugh, Glan Martins, Pronay Halder, Brad Inman, Jayesh Rane, Sk Sahil, Ningombam Engson Singh
Forwards: Roy Krishna, David Williams, Manvir Singh, Md. Fardin Ali
Coach: Antonio Lopez Habas