Kerala Blasters are in good form, being unbeaten in their last four games. They have taken total 8 points from the 12 available. The Yellow army are now just four points behind the fourth placed Hyderabad FC. A win could see them closing down to just one point. On the other hand, ATK Mohun Bagan have been in quite an inconsistent form, winning just once in their last four games. Their winner against Chennaiyin FC also came in the dying minutes of the game.
LINEUP AND PREVIEW
ATK MOHUN BAGAN
The Mariners looked to aim for the AFC Champions League spot, but their recent performances have made some doubts about their ability to do so. They have won just once in four games, and sit six points behind league leaders, Mumbai City FC. Their inability to score more goals have come as a result of being too defensive, as goes the philosophy of this year with coach Antonio Habas. They have also relied too much upon their tailsman, Roy Krishna, who has scored seven of their thirteen goals this season. Inability of David Williams, Manvir, Edu Garcia and Javi to provide for goals have probably led to this. An early injury in their opening match against Sooisairaj has also been one factor. Teenage wonder Komal Thatal has also made just two appearances for the club, both as a substitute.
Even after so much of goals lacking from the team, who aim for the top spot, they sit second. Amrinder and the back four of Tiri, Jhinagn, Kotal and Subhasish along with Rathi and McHugh have kept significant amount of clean sheets to make the team stand on second position. Habas will look to go out all attack after loosing out on opportunities to narrow the points between them and Mumbai City FC. The defense is expected to see just a change of Subhasish on the left back in place of Sumit Rathi. McHugh and youngster SK Sahil could start in the defensive pivot. Edu, Javi and Prabir would look to start this game. Roy Krishna has kept his spot up front since the first game. Komal Thatal, Pronay, Manvir and new signing Marcelinho from Odisha FC could also make some impact in this and coming games.
Kibu Vicuna and his yellow army surely started with unexpected results, but look to capture the play offs position. They have looked good in their recent performances. They will look to tighten their grip on their aim for qualifying. The last fixture saw ATK Mohun Bagan taking all the three points, which was the opening match of Hero ISL Season 7.
Albino Gomes has been good this season between the posts. There has been many changes in the back four, from Jeakson playing as center back, to an all Indian defense. Kibu has started his last four games with almost one to a couple of changes in the back four. Jessel, Nishu, Costa and Jeakson are expected to start this game. Sahal and Pereyra on the wings would look to be a threat for ATK Mohun Bagan’s defense. Vincente Gomez and Juan would control the game in the center of the field, with Hooper and KP Rahul up front. KP Rahul has been in form now, establishing himself as an important asset to the team. Murray, Rohit, Sandeep could also make their way into the starting eleven.
Roy Krishna vs Albino Gomes
Roy Krishna look to have found his from back, by scoring a consolation in the last defeat against NEUFC. Albino Gomes have made the second highest number of saves this season. It would be interesting to see whether Krishna could get goals past the Yellow army’s keeper or will Albino keep him at bay!
McHugh vs Vincente Gomez
McHugh and Vincente Gomez have been clinical for their teams. McHugh got an assist last game, to take his assist tally to two. Vincente has also had contributions twice this season, scoring and assisting once.
Rahul KP vs Tiri
Rahul KP missed last game due to suspension. He would be back into the squad. He has three goals to his name already and would love to get one past ATK Mohun Bagan too. Tiri has been phenomenal at the back this season and handled the defense as a leader. So does his stat say!
SCORE PREDICTION and MATCH DETAILS
ATK Mohun Bagan 2-0 Kerala Blasters
Venue: Fatorda Stadium, Goa
Date and Time: 31st Jan 2021; 7:30pm IST
The match will be telecasted live on Star Sports Network, Disney + Hotstar and JioTV.