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ISL 2020-21: ATK Mohun Bagan vs FC Goa - Where it will be won

ISL 2020-21: ATK Mohun Bagan vs FC Goa - Where it will be won

Sayan Chatterjee

Published: 16 Dec 2020 8:35 AM GMT

ATK Mohun Bagan host a revitalised FC Goa tonight in what will be the last match of Matchday 6 in this season’s Indian Super League (ISL). The Mariners haven’t won their last two matches, the Gaurs have. Moreover, both the head coaches will be looking for all three points which makes it a promising affair in terms of entertainment. Here are the key aspects that may well decide the final outcome tonight-

The understanding between Edu Garcia and Roy Krishna

The combination of Krishna and Garcia is probably the best attacking avenue that the Green and Maroons have in their side. The Spaniard tends to play just off Krishna who is tasked with making those runs behind opposition defenders. And more often than not, Garcia finds him perfectly. It will be upto Lenny Rodrigues and Edu Bedia to break the passing channels between them and ensure that they help make the numbers up in defence whenever required.

The partnership of Brandon Fernandes and Igor Angulo

Like the aforementioned pair, Angulo and Brandon have also started to develop a great knack of finding each other in tight spaces. Juan Ferrando took his time with building Brandon’s fitness during the initial games. And it seems to be paying off now. The Goan already has a couple of assists in four games and has been a constant threat in and around the opposition box. He will once again have a free role in attacking midfield and will look to feed Angulo, who has five goals in six games, at every opportunity. Whether the likes of Jhingan, who was Bagan’s best player in the draw against Hyderabad, Carl McHugh and Sumit Rathi can stop them from combining is what will be interesting to see.

The threat of Alexander Jesuraj

The young Goan has been extremely impressive this season. He already has two assists against his name in four games and has been a menace on either side of the pitch. How Ferrando uses him will be interesting to see especially because he also has the options like Redeem Tlang and Seminlen Doungel besides Ishan Pandita who has played for just two minutes in a match till now. However, what sets Jesuraj apart is his composure on the ball, especially in decisive moments, and the heart he shows in every game.

FC Goa’s defensive shape during ATK Mohun Bagan counter-attacks

Although Antonio Lopez Habas has been known to scoff at the notion that his is a counter-attacking team, fact remains that they are at their best during quick breaks. The speed and running that Krishna and Manvir Singh offer goes well with the passing range of Edu Garcia and Javi Hernandez (who is out injured). It will therefore be interesting to see how FC Goa cope with that threat since three of the five goals that they have conceded have been from counter-attacks. The onus once again will be on Lenny Rodrigues to mop up everything in front of his defenders and stay alert to the Mohun Bagan attackers’ off-the-ball movement.

Carl McHugh’s efficiency in midfield

McHugh has been one of the key ingredients in his side’s defensive stability. He has the third highest number of tackles (35) in the league as well as the highest number of fouls (17). This should tell you all about what he does but what it actually doesn’t is how beautifully keeps hold of the ball against a high press. In the last match, he almost functioned as an auxiliary centre-back who had the license to come up and initiate attacks. He excelled in that role too which shows his versatility as a player. Whether Brandon, Jesuraj or Jorge Ortiz are able to get to him quickly enough will play a big role in deciding who wins the midfield battle.

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