Antonio Habas’ men will still be smarting from their defeat against Jamshedpur when they take on Hyderabad FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) on Friday. The Mariners will be looking to put one over the Nizams as they play catch up to Mumbai City who have opened up a 3-point gap at the top. Here are the mini-contests that may decide the outcome of this exciting fixture.
Roy Krishna against an in-form Hyderabad FC defence
The danger-man for ATK Mohun Bagan, as always, is Roy Krishna. The Fijian already has 4 goals in 4 matches and will be looking to get his team back on track after the stumble against Jamshedpur. His ability to stretch defences will test the Hyderabad backline consisting of Asish Rai, Odei Onaindia, Chinlensana Singh and Akash Mishra. They will know that he can’t be given an inch and would look to mark him out of the game. For Roy Krishna though, one second is enough to make a difference and that is what the Nizams will be wary of.
Edu Garcia vs Joao Victor
Mohun Bagan’s midfield schemer is one of those players who can find that crucial final pass when given time on the ball. He will be playing just off Krishna and will try to set him through on goal every opportunity he gets. Hyderabad’s Joao Victor will be tasked with stopping that from happening. The Brazilian has been their midfield mainstay having played in all three matches so far and is again going to be critical in terms of breaking up play and closing down the spaces where Garcia operates the best.
The freedom that ATK Mohun Bagan’s two wing-backs are allowed
In Prabir Das and Subhasish Bose, Habas has two of the most relentless wing backs in the league. Their continuous running up and down the pitch is what stretches the field of play for Bagan and enables them to overload either side of the pitch during attack. Akash Mishra and Asish Rai will therefore have to ensure that they are pushed back throughout the game and are not allowed to make those marauding runs towards crossing areas on either side of the pitch.
Bagan’s experienced defence against Hyderabad’s youthful attackers
In the absence of Aridane Santana and Joel Chianese, the onus will be on the likes of Liston Colaco, Mohamad Yasir and Halicharan Narzary to create dangerous situations near the opposition penalty box. However, they will be up against Tiri, Sandesh Jhingan and Pritam Kotal who have been quite dependable so far in the ISL. It will be their understanding of the game and positioning against the youngsters’ speed and ability to think on their feet.