AFC Cup 2021: How will ATK Mohun Bagan line up? Predicted line-ups without Sandesh Jhingan and Joni Kauko
The Mariners are without their Euro 2020 star Joni Kauko and Indian international Sandesh Jhingan in the group stages of the AFC Cup.
Antonio Habas is a two-time Indian Super League-winning coach, and he has changed his strategies over the years to accommodate the best of players to get the best results for the team. He will be without star signing Joni Kauko and Sandesh Jhingan in the AFC Cup.
The good news for ATK Mohun Bagan fans is that Hugo Boumous is fit, and he is raring to in the AFC Cup. Roy Krishna, David Williams, and Carl McHugh are the other three foreigners in the squad, while new Indian signings Amrinder Singh, Ashutosh Mehta, Deepak Tangi, and others make the squad for the AFC Cup. You can read the entire squad here.
Sandesh Jhingan and Tiri will be great misses for the club, as they would be depending highly on Carl McHugh and Pritam Kothal to do most of the defensive duty, The last match played by Mariners was in March 2021, and they are coming to football after a long break.
Habas last season preferred a 3-5-2, with Roy Krishna leading the line with David Williams, while sometimes he switched to a 4-3-3 to incorporate an attacking style. Here are some predictions how they might line up in the AFC Cup.
An out and out 4-3-3, with Krishna, Williams and Manvir leading the line for the Mariners can be a good option for the team.
Amrinder Singh will be the number goalkeeper, and his defensive wall will consist of Pritam Kothal and Carl McHugh. Experienced left-back Subhashish will be the left-back, while new signing Ashutosh Mehta will be the new right-back. The holding midfielders will be Lenny Rodrigues and Deepak Tangri, while the most expensive player in Indian football history Hugo Boumous will be leading the midfield.
The major challenge Habas will face is to incorporate David Williams and Hugo Boumous both at the same time, as both players almost play at the same position. David Williams loves cutting in from the left flank, and that can be a good option for him. Hugot can take the number 10 role, while Manvir Singh or Liston Colaco can take up the right-wing position.
Deepak Tangri and Lenny Rodrigues can be the two defensive midfielders who will be shielding a back four of Subhashish, Ashutosh, Pritam, and McHugh. The formation can be used both as an offensive as well as a counter-attacking system and can break through the defense of any team in the AFC Cup.
The 3-4-3 is something we do expect Habas to use, with Sumit Rathi stepping in the place of Sandesh Jhingan, Carl McHugh and Pritam being the other two defenders in the defensive line.
Ashutosh Mehta and Subhashish Bose can both be attacking full-backs who will supply the crosses for Roy Krishna from the wings, while Hugo Boumous and Lenny Rodrigues can be the midfielders that hold the team. David Williams and Manvir Singh or Liston Colaco can be the wingers who can crowd the box, and attack the balls spread by Ashutosh and Subhashish. The choice between Liston and Manvir will be a tough one to make for Habas and it's a good headache that he would want. I personally feel that Manvir will start the game, while Liston will come of the bench. The squad depth in attack for the Mariners is intense, and it will be exciting to see Habas lines up his team in the AFC Cup,
This is a system that will allow David Williams and Hugo Boumous to directly play behind the Fiji striker Roy Krishna, and also be in the position they want to play. Hugo is someone who like having the ball with him, and he easily breaks defensive lines to make himself free to get the the ball. In this system, he can be the free flowing midfielder behind David Williams and Roy Krishna.
We had often seen in the ISL that Habas would start David Williams as a striker with Roy Krishna, and the pair would break defense after defense. A 3-4-1-2 can be a came changers for the club, and might help reach further heights with the addition of Hugo Boumous behind them.
Amrinder Singh retains his position in goal, while the defense comprises of Sumit Rathi, Carl McHugh, Pritam Kothal,Subhashish Bose and Ashutosh Mehta. The midfield duo of Tangri and Lenny would form the partnership in the middle of the park. Hugo will be connect between the attack and midfield, and will be looking to create space between the lines to receive the ball and distribute it to Williams and Krishna.
The negative aspect of this formation is that it keeps the value of Liston Colaco and Manvir Singh aside, and gives them a role of a substitute.
The Mariners kick off their first match in Group D of the AFC Cup against rivals Bengaluru FC on the 18th August, in the Maldives. How do you think will they line-up for the match?