Hyderabad FC will be facing ATK Mohun Bagan in the first leg of the second semifinal of the Indian Super League on Saturday. Bambolim will host this high-profile encounter. Hyderabad FC are having their best season and have qualified for the semi-finals for the first time. Their opponents ATK Mohun Bagan have qualified for their straight second semi-finals.
Previously both the teams have faced each other 4 times earlier. The first three matches ended in a draw while ATK Mohun Bagan won the last match with a margin of 2-1.
As the first leg of the semifinal is now just a matter of a few hours, let's take a look at the Top 5 things we can expect from this encounter.
A game of attacks
Both Hyderabad FC and ATK Mohun Bagan are known for their attacking fire powers. Defenders and Goalkeepers could really expect a hard time ahead. Expertise attackers like Liston Colaco, Manvir Singh, Ogbeche, Siverio, etc. are set to be involved. The Nizams will have their main players back on the field after a covid outbreak inside the squad. Also, the Mariners will be having a point to prove after their defeat against Jamshedpur FC. Overall, we can expect attacking gameplay from both teams.
Danger down the wings
ATK Mohun Bagan has been amongst the best teams in Indian Super League this season and most of the credit goes to their winger Liston Colaco and Manvir Singh for their super dominating attacking display. Both the wingers have combined for 18 direct goal involvements (14 goals, 4 assists) in 20 matches for the Mariners. Also adding to that, both the wingers have scored against Hyderabad FC when the two teams faced each other last time where ATKMB registered a 2-1 victory. So given the red burning form of both ATKMB wingers, Hyderabad FC is expected to face a lot of troubles down the wings.
Liston Colaco has been one of the best players in this edition of the Indian Super League. And undoubtedly has been the best Indian player of this season. He has scored a total of 8 goals (most among Indians) and bagged 3 assists in 20 matches. Not only goal and assists but Liston has impressed everybody with his lighting speed and dribbling abilities and can be termed as a player 'who only scores bangers'. The Mariners will be expecting Liston to be at his very best and help the team lift the title. On the other hand, Hyderabad FC is well aware of the damage capabilities and will be on its toes.
Ogbeche to be the main man
Bart Ogbeche is arguably the best player of this edition of the Indian Super league. He is also the highest scorer in the league history, having scored 52 goals in 74 appearances. He is also the leading goal scorer of this season with 17 goals to his name in just 17 games. Hyderabad FC is heavily dependent on Ogbeche as it is only for his contributions that the Nizams will be featuring in the knockout stages for the first time in their history. Hyderabad FC will be hoping that the forward maintains his lethal scoring form whereas; the ATKMB defense will be very fearful of this former Nigerian international.
HFC wing-backs to play an important role
The pairing of Akash Mishra and Asish Rai is considered the best wing-back pairing in India and that too for a couple of seasons now. These players will be taking the task of preventing Liston and Manvir through the wings and also initiating wing-based attacks from the back. A high-intensity duel is very much anticipated from the ATKMB wingers and HFC wing-backs which will undoubtedly be a treat for the audience. This duel can also be the main reason affecting the final score at the full time.