ATK Mohun Bagan vs Goa: Preview and Prediction
ATK Mohun Bagan has not had a poor time so far this season, but given the high standards they have set, the performance was not been too pleasing. With six wins from 11 matches and 20 points to their name, the Mariners are placed third in the standings.
Goa, on the other hand, has had a pretty similar journey as their opposition but will be happier of the lot, as they made a fantastic comeback after a disastrous last season. With six wins but 19 points in their account, the Gaurs are placed fourth in the points table.
ATK Mohun Bagan did not get the start that they would have hoped for, as Chennaiyin handed them a 1-2 defeat in their first game. However, Juan Ferrando’s boys were then unbeaten for their next four matches – wherein they defeated Kerala Blasters, East Bengal and NorthEast United, with the other match against Mumbai City resulting in a draw.
The winning streak came to an end when Goa defeated them 0-3, but the Mariners bounced back by once again embarking on a four-game unbeaten spree. This time, they defeated Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Jamshedpur, and drew against Jamshedpur. However, in their last match, the Kolkata-based team suffered a shock defeat against the last boys, NorthEast United.
Goa had a much better start, as they won both of their first two matches – against East Bengal and Chennaiyin. The next three matches were not up to the mark, as while Carlos Pena’s team did get the better of Jamshedpur, they also lost against Hyderabad and Kerala Blasters.
While they bounced back with a 3-0 win over ATK Mohun Bagan, the Gaurs derailed again with two consecutive defeats against Bengaluru and Mumbai City. That being said, they will come to this match on the back of three unbeaten games, having beaten Odisha and NorthEast United, and drawn against Jamshedpur.
Head to Head Record
The head-to-head records are inclined in favour of ATK Mohun Bagan. They have won three of the five precious meetings against Goa, with the latter winning on only one occasion. The other fixture ended in a stalemate.
The first meeting of this season, which took place only a month ago, produced a 3-0 result in favour of Pena’s team. Aibanbha Dohling open the scoring for Goa, but Fares Arnaout and Noah Sadaoui got their names on the scoresheet.
Given that the decision to play a three-man backline backfired terribly against NorthEast United, it is expected that Ferrando will revert to his 4-2-3-1 formation for this match. Among the midfielders, Deepak Tangri might be dropped to the bench, with Carl McHugh and Lenny Rodrigues forming a double pivot.
While Hugo Boumous is injured, the Spanish tactician could play youngster Fardin Ali Molla in the number 10 role. Besides that, Ashique Kuruniyan could also be dropped after a poor outing against the Highlanders, with Kiyan Nasssiri taking his place.
Similarly, Pena is also expected to make changes to his starting XI which drew 2-2 against Jamshedpur. Syrian centre-back Arnaout had a difficult time against Daniel Chima Chukwu, and hence, he could be replaced by Spain’s Marc Valiente.
Besides him, young midfielder Brison Fernandes also was ineffective against the Red Miners. Ayush Dev Chhetri looked more composed when he came on, and as a result, the latter could feature from the start in this match.
ATK Mohun Bagan (4-2-3-1): Vishal Kaith; Asish Rai, Pritam Kotal, Brendan Hamill, Subhasish Bose; Lenny Rodrigues, Carl McHugh; Kiyan Nassiri, Fardin Ali Molla, Liston Colaco, Dimitri Petratos.
Goa (4-2-3-1): Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem; Seriton Fernandes, Marc Valiente, Anwar Ali, Aibhanbha Dohling; Ayush Chhetri, Edu Bedia; Brandon Fernandes, Iker Guarrotxena, Makan Chothe; Noah Sadaoui.
While ATK Mohun Bagan might have the edge on head-to-head records, there is hardly anything to separate the two teams based on their current forms. Hence, we have predicted the Mariners and the Gaurs to share spoils in this fixture.