Margao, Jan 22 (PTI) ATK Mohun Bagan will be eager to relaunch their top-of-the-table surge when they take on volatile Odisha FC in a rescheduled 2021-22 Indian Super League game here on Sunday.
ATK Mohun Bagan were last in action on January 5, playing out a 2-2 draw against Hyderabad FC. The Mariners saw their next three games get postponed including the one against Odisha, meaning they have only played nine matches so far pocketing 15 points.
A win on Sunday would take them to the top-four with two games in hand. ATKMB bolstered their back-line with the addition of Sandesh Jhingan, who returned to the fold from Croatian side HNK ibenik.
The green and maroons will miss the services of playmaker Hugo Boumous who is suspended for the tie. Boumous has been a crucial cog in ATKMB’s attack. In nine ISL matches this season, he has scored five goals and provided three assists for the club. He is currently the joint highest goal scorer for the club.
Head coach Juan Ferrando’s primary concern will be their backline that has so far shipped 18 goals. They have now gone seven matches without a clean sheet, their joint-highest such run in the Hero ISL.
“Odisha look like a strong team at this point in time. It think it will be a difficult game,” Ferrando commented.
On playing two games lesser than the rest of the teams, he said, “I don’t think there is any advantage that exists.”
Odisha meanwhile got back their mojo with a convincing win over laggards NorthEast United FC but coach Kino Garcia will know full well that ATKMB are a different kettle of fish.
Odisha are winless against ATKMB in 2 matches. The Mariners are one of the two active teams, who have never lost to Odisha, the other being FC Goa.
For Odisha, Aridai Cabrera has been in top form scoring in each of Odisha’s last two wins.
In fact, all his goals this season have come in games that Odisha won. Javi Hernandez has also been in fine touch, and coach Garcia would hope the duo can fire against a solid ATKMB.
“We know that they have really powerful attackers and we have a plan for that. We do have our chances to win points from this game,” said Kino Garcia.
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