FC Goa .
Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata
22 November, 2015
Match 44 of the Indian Super League revives the traditional Kolkata-Goa rivalry as Atletico de Kolkata play host to table toppers FC Goa. With the business end of the league approaching, each and every match is important for the teams and Atletico come into the match knowing that a win here could take them top of the table. FC Goa have not managed a win against Atletico in their five meetings; a trend coach Zico would be looking to change
Team News and Tactical Brief
Atletico de Kolkata
Antonio Lopez Habas’ s side comes into the match on the back of an impressive 2-1 win over Chennaiyin FC and would be looking to win their second successive match at home. Amrinder Singh features in the list of Indian players who have spent most time on the field and the custodian looks set to start under the bar once again. Arnab Mondal who returned to the starting lineup in the last match will retain his place in the defense which is once again likely to see Rino Anto, Tiri and Augustine Fernandes.
Skipper Borja Fernandez has played the full 90 minutes in all the eleven matches Atletico have played this season and the 34 year old will be tasked with the role of keeping former Atletico player Jofre under check. Borja will be accompanied in the heart of the midfield by Offense Nato who has returned back from the national duty with Botswana. Iian Hume who has five goals to his name will start as the lone striker upfront while the trio of Arata Izumi, Doutie and Lekic will start behind him.
Probable Starting XI(4-2-3-1): Amrinder, Rino, Tiri, Mondal, Augustine; Borja, Nato; Lekic, Doutie, Izumi; Hume.
The Gaurs come into the match knowing that a win would all but cement their place in the semifinals. Zico and his team however have had a far from perfect buildup as they were denied an opportunity to train at the Salt Lake stadium. Being an away match, Zico is expected to start with a 4-4-2 formation rather than attack minded 3-5-2 formation he used against Mumbai City FC in the home match. Laxmikant Kattimani is expected to start under the bar once again while the four man defense will be led by Lucio and Gr gory Arnolin. Raju Gaikwad and Narayan Das are expected to lineup on the right and the left respectively.
Jofre’ s return has bolstered the team’ s attack and the Spaniard will once again be the focal point of FC Goa’ s attack. He is expected to be accompanied in the heart of the midfield by Leo Moura, who has been the focal point of FC Goa in the midfield this season. Jonatan Lucca and Mandar Rao Desai are expected to complete the four man midfield for the visitors. Hat-trick heroes from last game – Dudu and Haokip are expected to lead the attack for the Gaurs.
Probable Starting XI(4-4-2): Kattimani; Raju, Lucio, Gregory, Das; Lucca, Leo, Jofre, Mandar; Dudu, Haokip.
Atletico de Kolkata 1-1 FC Goa
The reverse leg in Goa saw visitors take the lead through Arata Izumi only for Almedia to restore parity in the 81st minute. With both sides not keen on dropping any points, this is expected to be a cagey affair like the first leg. TheHardTackle predicts a 1-1 draw just like the first leg.