ISL 2021-22, ATKMB vs OFC Preview: Focused Bagan take on rejuvenated Odisha in fight for top-four

ATKMB haven’t lost a game under Juan Ferrando and the Spaniard has steadied the ship after a string of poor performances that pushed them out of the top four.

In their last outing, the Mariners were held to a 2-2 draw by Hyderabad FC but two wins before that ensured they stayed inside the top-four.

Results | Points Table | Fixtures

The goals have kept coming for ATKMB but their porous defence is a concern and Ferrando will look to get his backline in order against a strong Odisha attacking line.

ATKMB have conceded 18 goals in their 9 matches, keeping just one clean sheet. Amrinder Singh has looked off-colour to say the least with his gaffe in the last game handing Bartholomew Ogbeche his ninth goal of the campaign.

The ‘home’ team will also be without the services of star playmaker Hugo Boumous who picked up his fourth yellow card in the last game, meaning he would have to sit out against Odisha.

The Frenchman has been a crucial cog in their wheel, scoring five goals and providing three assists for the Kolkata side. He is currently the joint highest goal scorer for them. ATKMB will also be without Carl McHugh who got concussed in the last game.

“In my point of view, I think for everybody the problem is when you have no chances. We have chances. Of course, we have (had) 20 chances. I think it is good for the squad. But in case you have no chances, this case is difficult,” Ferrando said, taking confidence from their last match.

“We’ll see. We have prepared one plan. We’ll see what happens. We decided this plan to find the best lineup,” said Ferrando on being asked if both Roy Krishna and David Williams can start together.

Odisha saw their captain Vinit Rai jump ship to Mumbai City FC on loan until the end of the season.

ISL 2021-22: Mumbai City FC complete loan move for midfielder Vinit Rai until end of the season

Jerry Mawihmingthanga has been tasked to lead the side and the wide midfielder has been in red-hot form too. Jerry scored twice and provided one assist in Odisha’s win over Mumbai as they snapped a 4-match winless run.

“They (ATKMB) are one of the biggest teams in ISL. So after the draw, they will be hungry for winning. Of course, it is good that lot of teams get a chance to be in the top 4 also I have to understand the format of the competition.

“We have match every 3-5 days. This makes it tough for every team. I think it’s good for the competition,” Head Coach Kiko Ramirez said, conscious of the opponents on Saturday.

Odisha are seventh in the table with 13 points from nine games and can push for a top-four place with a win.

ATK Mohun Bagan vs Odisha FC Match Details

Venue: Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Goa

Date: January 8, Saturday

Kick off time: 7:30 PM IST

Live Telecast: Star Sports Network – Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1HD

Live Streaming: Disney+HotStar

Source: ISL Media

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