ATK Mohun Bagan vs Chennaiyin: Preview and Prediction￼
ATK Mohun Bagan is one of the most consistent teams in this competition, but they did not get any silverware to substantiate their year-round hard work last season. Juan Ferrando’s boys finished third in the league stage, and then suffered a defeat against eventual champions Hyderabad in the semi-final.
Chennaiyin, on the other hand, will be looking to hit the factory reset this time around. The two-time champions were abysmal in the last season and finished eighth, winning only five of their 20 matches. Under Thomas Brdaric’s stewardship, the Marina Machans will be aiming for a revival.
In terms of current form, the Mariners’ fans do not have much to be optimistic about. ATK Mohun Bagan was eliminated from the group stages of the Durand Cup 2022 after a shock defeat against I-League team Rajasthan United.
They also suffered a 1-3 defeat in the AFC Cup inter-zonal play-off semi-final match against Kuala Lumpur City. In terms of friendlies, they have only faced fellow Kolkata-based team Mohammedan, where they secured a 2-1 victory.
Chennaiyin were slightly better in the Durand Cup as they managed to make it out of their group by finishing second, but in the quarter-finals, they lost against Mumbai City by a 5-3 margin in extra time, after the match ended 2-2 after 90 minutes.
As for their pre-season friendlies, Brdaric’s men have played four matches. They secured two 5-1 victories against Kidderpore and fellow ISL club Odisha, drew 1-1 against Green Army, and lost 1-2 against Mohammedan.
The head-to-head records are completely inclined in favour of the Mariners. These two teams have met four times previously, and ATK Mohun Bagan was successful in winning two of those matches, while the other two encounters ended in stalemates.
The first meeting of the last season produced one of those draws, but the second meeting saw Ferrando’s team securing a 1-0 win. Roy Krishna, who is now playing for Bengaluru, scored the decisive goal of the match.
Ferrando deployed the 4-3-3 tactic in the Durand Cup, and we can expect the same from the Spaniard in this match as well. With Vishal Kaith guarding the goal, Subhasish Bose, Florentin Pogba, Pritam Kotal and Asish Rai are expected to line up in defense.
Joni Kauko, Deepak Tangri and Ashique Kuruniyani will have the task of controlling the tempo in the middle of the park, while the onus of scoring goals will be on Liston Colaco, Dimitri Petratos and Hugo Boumous.
Brdaric tried the 3-4-3 formation in the Durand Cup and he could continue with that in the ISL as well. Debjit Majumder is expected to be Chennaiyin’s last line of defense, while Fallou Diagne, Gurmukh Singh and Narayan Das could form the three-man backline.
Skipper Anirudh Thapa and Edwin Sydney Vanspaul could be deployed in the midfield, with Ajith Kumar and Julius Duker playing as wing-backs. Kwame Karikari, Petar Sliskovic and Rahim Ali could be the Marina Machans’ attacking trio.
ATK Mohun Bagan: Vishal Kaith; Subhasish Bose, Florentin Pogba, Pritam Kotal, Asish Rai; Joni Kauko, Deepak Tangri, Ashique Kuruniyan; Liston Colaco, Dimitri Petratos, Hugo Boumous.
Chennaiyin: Debjit Majumder; Fallou Diagne, Gurmukh Singh, Narayan Das; Ajith Kumar, Anirudh Thapa, Edwin Sydney Vanspaul, Julius Duker; Kwame Karikari, Petar Sliskovic, Rahim Ali.
Neither team has been particularly impressive so far, but with ATK Mohun Bagan having the edge on head-to-head records, we have predicted the Mariners to start their 2022-23 ISL campaign with a 2-1 victory.