ATK Mohun Bagan is all set to face Bengaluru FC in the AFC Cup competition in a Group D fixture at the Maldives. Both these sides are facing each other for the first time on a continental stage. ATK Mohun Bagan got direct entry into group D, while Bengaluru enters the group after defeating Nepal Army and Club Eagles in the qualifiers.
Two Indian sides have big expectations from the fans for this all-important silverware. Bengaluru FC has already reached the grand finale of this tourney back in 2016. However, the Indian club couldn’t beat the Air Force club and lift the trophy. Both clubs will be eager to deliver an impressive performance in this AFC Cup competition.
When and Where?
ATK Mohun Bagan will take on Bengaluru FC in the Group D clash of the AFC Cup game at the Maldives National Football Stadium on August 18th (04:30 PM IST). This contest will be televised across the Star Sports network in India.
Team News and Expected Lineup
ATK Mohun Bagan
The Mariners have no injury concerns on their side. Head coach Antonio Habas will be hoping to field the strong eleven. However, there is a doubt about the availability of David Williams for this clash. The Australian forward arrived late for the camp due to visa issues.
While Hugo Boumous and Roy Krishna are expected to start upfront for the Kolkata-based club. The Mariners’ defense might be an area of concern with Tiri and Sandesh missing out. Carl McHugh is expected to play in the defensive line as a center-back.
Expected Lineup: Amrinder Singh; Pritam Kotal, Carl McHugh, Subhasish Bose, Ashutosh Mehta; Lenny Rodrigues, Deepak Tangri; Hugo Boumous; David Williams, Roy Krishna.
Bengaluru FC might field their same eleven from their last win over Club Eagles. However, the only concern would be on wing-back Ashique Kuruniyan, who limped off last game during the 73rd minute. Although, the injury didn’t seem to be serious and Keralite is expected to start from the left flank.
Expected Lineup: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu; Alan Costa, Sarthak Golui, Musavu-King, Ashique Kuruniyan; Udanta Singh, Suresh Wangjam, Jayesh Rane, Rohit Kumar; Cleiton Silva, Sunil Chhetri.
ATK Mohun Bagan broke their bank to secure the signing of Hugo Boumos from Mumbai City FC. The attacking midfielder can be a crucial addition to Habas’ side for their upcoming campaign. Hugo can offer more freedom for Roy Krishna and David Williams in the final third.
Marco Pezzaiuoli needs to come up with a plan to stop this trio. Meanwhile, the Bengaluru defense did look shaky in their last game against the Eagles. Defenders Alan Costa and Sarthak Golui were both disappointing in the last outing. Players like Hugo Boumous and Krishna can exploit this situation and penetrate opposition defense.
Udanta Singh had a decent last night against the Maldives’ side. The pacy winger didn’t have a great season last term and will be hoping to start bright this season. Udanta’s pace will be crucial for the Italian manager especially against a side like ATK Mohun Bagan.
Jayesh Rane and Udanta Singh will both be vital for Bengaluru FC in this important clash. While Chhetri and Cleiton Silva couldn’t find their usual rhythm against the Eagles. However, Chhetri can be a dangerous threat inside the box and from set-pieces.
Final Scoreline Prediction
ATK Mohun Bagan is the favorite to win this competition against Bengaluru FC. However, this is the first time both sides are meeting on a continental stage. On paper, both sides look equally strong but ATK Mohun Bagan has a higher chance of winning this contest. The final scoreline might read 2-0 in favor of the Mariners.