ATK Mohun Bagan vs Bengaluru: Preview and Prediction
ATK Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru will compete in the all-important grand finale of the 2022-23 Indian Super League season. The match will be played in Goa’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Saturday. The Mariners will be playing their second ISL final, while for the Blues, it will be their third final appearance.
ATK Mohun Bagan finished third in the league phase, where they won 10 of their 20 matches and amassed 34 points. Juan Ferrando’s men then defeated Odisha in the knockout fixture, before beating defending champions Hyderabad on penalties in the semi-final.
On the other hand, Bengaluru finished a place below the Mariners. Simon Grayson’s men too had earned 34 points in 10 matches but were ranked on the basis of goal difference. After beating Kerala Blasters in the knockout, the 2018-19 ISL champions defeated the League Winners’ Shield-winning team, Mumbai City, in the semi-final.
ATK Mohun Bagan had a good start to their season, where they won three of their first five matches and lost only one game. After their second defeat against Goa in the sixth match, Ferrando’s team bounced back with three back-to-back wins.
That run was followed by a poor phase as the Mariners won only two of their next eight matches, but ending their seasons with wins over Kerala Blasters and East Bengal was enough to hand them the third place. The Kolkata-based team defeated Odisha 2-0 in the knockout, before beating Hyderabad 4-3 on penalties in the semi-final.
Bengaluru had a horrendous start to their season as they won only three of their first 12 matches while losing 8 of those matches. That being said, Grayson’s men have won every single match ever since, in what has been a massive turnaround.
The Blues ended their league stage campaign with eight consecutive wins, before defeating Kerala Blasters 1-0 in the knockout. Then in the semi-final, Bengaluru defeated Mumbai City in a thrilling affair, by a 9-8 margin on penalties.
Head to Head Record
The head-to-head records between these two teams are inclined in favour of ATK Mohun Bagan. The Mariners have won four of the previous six league meetings against Bengaluru, with the Blues winning on only one occasion. The other match ended in a tie.
The last meeting, which took place in February, saw Bengaluru winning by a 2-1 margin. Two former Mariners, Javi Hernandez and Roy Krishna scored for the Blues, while ATK Mohun Bagan’s lone goal was scored by Dimitri Petratos.
Given that his team is on a winning run, Grayson is unlikely to change his starting XI. With Gurpreet Singh Sandhu in goal, the three-man defense is expected to be comprised of Aleksandar Jovanovic, Sandesh Jhingan and Bruno Ramires.
With Roshan Naorem and Prabir Das as wingbacks, Rohit Kumar, Hernandez and Suresh Singh Wangjam could man the midfield. In terms of attack, we could see the strike pairing of Roy Krishna and Sivasakthi Narayanan.
On the other hand, Ferrando is expected to make a change. Ashique Kuruniyan is expected to be available for this match, which could force the Spaniard to drop Kiyan Nassiri on the bench. He is likely to be teamed with Manvir Singh and Hugo Boumous, with Petratos being the lone striker.
At the back, a defensive line of Asish Rai, Pritam Kotal, Slavko Damjanovic and Subhasish Bose could be stationed ahead of Vishal Kaith. Besides that, a double pivot of Carl McHugh and Glan Martins is also likely to be deployed.
Bengaluru (3-5-2): Gurpreet Singh Sandhu; Aleksandar Jovanovic, Sandesh Jhingan, Bruno Ramires; Prabir Das, Rohit Kumar, Javi Hernandez, Suresh Singh Wangjam, Roshan Naorem; Roy Krishna, Sivasakthi Narayanan.
ATK Mohun Bagan (4-2-3-1): Vishal Kaith; Asish Rai, Pritam Kotal, Slavko Damjanovic, Subhasish Bose; Carl McHugh, Glan Martins; Manvir Singh, Hugo Boumous, Ashique Kuruniyan; Dimitri Petratos.
While ATK Mohun Bagan holds the upper hand on head-to-head statistics, Bengaluru has been unstoppable in their recent games. They have been on a winning streak since the start of 2023 and look determined to win their second ISL title. The trophy might travel down south in favor of Sunil Chhetri’s side but these tough matches are always decided on match-ups which might tilt the match in favor of Ferrando’s men.