Bagan eye turnaround trail against unbeaten Chennaiyin
ATK Mohun Bagan players during a practice session ahead of their match against FC Chennaiyin in the Indian Super League (ISL)Vipin Pawar/ISL

Bagan eye turnaround trail against unbeaten Chennaiyin

Fatorda, December 10, 2021

Pegged back by two back-to-back defeats, ATK Mohun Bagan will look to get their campaign back on track against a resolute Chennaiyin FC in the 2021-22 Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the PJN Stadium in Fatorda on Saturday.

Last season's finalists and one of the most consistent sides in the Hero ISL, ATKMB suffered defeats at the hands of Mumbai City FC and Jamshedpur FC in their previous two engagements. League leaders Mumbai pummeled the Antonio Habas-coached side 5-1, racing to a 3-0 lead in the first half itself. Jamshedpur then piled on the misery with a 2-1 victory to leave the green and maroons in sixth place.

Chennaiyin are placed fourth in the points table with seven points from three matches. ATKMB have struggled defensively, conceding nine goals in their four Hero ISL games this season. To put things into perspective, the club conceded just 15 goals in the league stages of Hero ISL 20-21. This is the first time The Mariners have lost two successive games since their induction into Hero ISL in the 20-21 season.

Roy Krishna, Hugo Boumous and Manvir Singh need to be at their very best as they come up against a side who are yet to concede from open play in 21-22 Hero ISL. Chennaiyin FC have conceded just one goal in their three Hero ISL games. They boast the best defensive record in the Hero ISL 21-22.

ATKMB Head Coach Antonio Lopez Habas said, "No two matches are the same. People sang praises when we won the first two and scored a lot of goals. Chennaiyin is a totally different ballgame. We have to find the balance. For me, it is about bringing back the confidence of our side. I consider my players the best in the world. We have to continue with the same energy and demonstrate that we are the best." Habas also mentioned that Spanish defender Tiri is fit for selection.

"Chennaiyin have a good team and I am looking forward to what should be a competitive match," added Habas.

What makes Chennaiyin’s defensive record more impressive is the goal they conceded came from a keeper error after a set-piece. They are yet to concede an open play goal in the Hero ISL 21-22.

"ATK Mohun Bagan are one of the best teams in the league. You need to respect them. They are now more dangerous than ever," Chennaiyin boss Bozidar Bandovic said ahead of the game.

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