Chennaiyin vs ATK Mohun Bagan: Preview and Prediction
Chennaiyin is not out of the race to qualify for the next round, but it is high time they pull their socks up. With only four wins from 13 matches and 16 points in their account, the Marina Machans are placed eighth in the standings – four points adrift of the top six.
ATK Mohun Bagan, on the other hand, is looking increasingly likely to make it to the next round, but they will ideally want to finish in the top two. The Mariners have won seven out of their 13 matches and picked up 23 points, placing them fourth in the league table.
Chennaiyin had a good start to their season as they lost only one of their first four matches – against Goa. They defeated ATK Mohun Bagan and East Bengal during this run, while the match against Bengaluru ended in a draw.
However, it was then followed by a poor run when Thomas Brdaric’s men lost three out of four games – against Mumbai City, Odisha, and Hyderabad. But the Mariners Machans have bounced back and lost only one game since then. They have also defeated NorthEast United, while drawing against Kerala Blasters, Jamshedpur, and Hyderabad.
ATK Mohun Bagan started their season with a defeat against Chennaiyin, but they were unbeaten in their next four matches – defeating Kerala Blasters, East Bengal, and NorthEast United while drawing against Mumbai City.
While Goa ended the Mariners’ unbeaten streak, Juan Ferrando’s men made a comeback with consecutive wins against Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Jamshedpur. While a draw against Odisha and a shock defeat against NorthEast United derailed them, the Mariners bounced back again with a win against Goa. However, all of their hard work was undone when they went down against Mumbai City in the last match.
Head to Head Record
The head-to-head records are slightly in favour of ATK Mohun Bagan. The Mariners have won two of five league outings against Chennaiyin, with the Marina Machans winning on only one occasion. Besides that, a couple of other fixtures ended in draws.
The last meeting, which took place way back in October, resulted in a 2-1 win for Chennaiyin. Kwame Karikari and Rahim Ali were on target for Brdaric’s team, while from Ferrando’s side, Manvir Singh was the lone goal-scorer.
Given that it took an impressive performance to restrict defending champions Hyderabad to a 1-1 draw in the last outing, Brdaric could be tempted to field an unchanged starting XI for this match. However, there is room for one tweak.
Ninthoinganba Meetei was handed a rare start down the right flank for the Marina Machans, but the young winger from Imphal did not look too convincing. Hence, he might have to make way for the more experienced Prasanth Karuthadathkuni in this match.
On the other hand, Ferrando will be forced to make at least one change to his starting XI. Winger Ashique Kuruniyan will be unavailable for this fixture, as he needs to serve a one-game suspension after picking up four yellow cards.
In his place, we could see new recruit Federico Gallego getting a start. Meanwhile, another new signing in Puitea had a day to forget against Mumbai City, and he was benched for Lenny Rodrigues at half-time. In this game, we could see the latter from the beginning.
Chennaiyin (4-2-3-1): Samik Mitra; Ajith Kumar, Vafa Hakhamaneshi, Fallou Diagne, Aakash Sangwan; Y Jiteshwor Singh, Anirudh Thapa; Prasanth Karuthadathkuni, Julius Duker, Vincy Barretto; Petar Sliskovic.
ATK Mohun Bagan (4-2-3-1): Vishal Kaith; Asish Rai, Pritam Kotal, Brendan Hamill, Subhasish Bose; Lenny Rodrigues, Carl McHugh; Liston Colaco, Hugo Boumous, Federico Gallego; Dimitri Petratos.
While they might be on a downward slide currently, ATK Mohun Bagan has a better squad as compared to their opposition, while they also enjoy the upper hand on head-to-head records. Hence, we have predicted the Mariners to take all three points from this fixture.