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Kolkata, February 7, 2020
ATK will look to reclaim their top position in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) table when they take on Odisha at the Salt Lake Stadium on Saturday. The Kolkata outfit trail Goa by three points but a win over Odisha would once again reinstate them at the pole position owing to a better goal difference for now, along with the head-to-head record.
Antonio Habas’ team are coming into the game on the back of three consecutive victories without conceding a single goal. The defence line led by Agus and Pritam Kotal has been at their best as they haven’t allowed the opposition to get into dangerous areas.
“ATK is prepared for winning. My target is to win the next match. The match against Odisha. I don't think beyond that. This is the philosophy of my team. We will give our 100 per cent. I don't think about abstract things. Only the next match,” said Habas.
The good news is that David Williams also got some minutes under his belt after recovering from an injury in the previous game.
Roy Krishna has been the star performer with as many as 10 goals to his name. Edu Garcia has been exceptional as well and Habas would be perplexed on how to include him in the starting eleven with the return of Williams. “I don't want to talk about the first eleven. We will see according to the dynamics of the match,” said Habas.
Josep Gombau’s Odisha need to get back to winning ways in order to boost their hopes of making it into the top four. Having lost Aridane Santana due to injury, they roped in Manuel Onwu from Bengaluru FC on loan until the end of the season. The Spaniard hasn’t disappointed either with two goals on debut against FC Goa last week.
Shubham Sarangi, who has been impressive this season by adapting to the full-back position, is back in contention for a start after serving his suspension alongside Carlos Delgado.
“This is our last away game. In this league, there is not a big difference between the teams. If we concentrate, we can win every single game because we know what to do and how to win,” said Gombau.
Odisha are placed sixth at the moment with 21 points from 15 matches. They are battling Mumbai City (26 points from 16 matches) and Chennaiyin FC (21 points from 14) for a place among the top four.
“Our performance this season has been great. We are among the youngest in the league. Even if we don't make it to the play-offs, my opinion about the season will not change. We are doing quite well and we are developing young players according to the philosophy of the club,” said the Odisha coach.