Margao, Jan 22 (PTI) ATK Mohun Bagan will be happy to relaunch their first-class wave when they take on volatile Odisha FC in a rescheduled 2021-22 Indian Super League match on Sunday.
ATK Mohun Bagan last played on January 5, playing a 2-2 draw against Hyderabad FC. The Mariners saw their next three games postponed, including the one against Odisha, meaning they have played just nine games so far on 15 points.
A win on Sunday would take them to the top four with two games in hand. ATKMB strengthened their back-line with the addition of Sandesh Jhingan, who returned to the fold from Croatian side HNK ibenik.
The greens and maroons will miss the services of playmaker Hugo Boumous, who has been suspended for the draw. Boumous was a crucial cog in ATKMB’s attack. In nine ISL games this season, he has scored five goals and provided three assists for the club. He is currently the joint highest goalscorer for the club.
Head coach Juan Ferrando’s main concern is their backline, who have scored 18 goals so far. They have now played seven games without a clean sheet, their joint highest point in the Hero ISL.
“Odisha looks like a strong team at the moment. They think it will be a difficult game,” Ferrando said.
When he played two games less than the rest of the teams, he said: “I don’t think there is any advantage.”
Odisha, meanwhile, got their mojo back with a convincing win over stragglers NorthEast United FC, but coach Kino Garcia will know full well that ATKMB is another cauldron.
Odisha is winless against ATKMB in 2 matches. The Mariners are one of the two active teams that have never lost to Odisha, the other being FC Goa.
For Odisha, Aridai Cabrera has scored in top form in each of Odisha’s last two wins.
In fact, all of his goals this season have been scored in matches that Odisha won. Javi Hernandez is also in good contact and coach Garcia hopes the duo can shoot against a solid ATKMB.
“We know they have really powerful attackers and we have a plan for that. We have our chances of winning points in this game,” said Kino Garcia.