ISL 2022-23: Bengaluru FC in a tricky tie against ATK Mohun Bagan at home
ISL 2022-23: Bengaluru FC has had an average season. However, it will have a litmus test on Saturday when it hosts a determined ATK Mohun Bagan.
After ending its five-match winless streak, a relieved former champion Bengaluru FC (BFC) side will set the stage for ATK Mohun Bagan’s (ATKMB’s) first 2022-23 Indian Super League (ISL) visit to the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Saturday. In their last match, the Blues had a clinic outing against FC Goa (FCG) while the Mariners pipped defending champion Hyderabad FC (HFC). After securing only its second win in seven games, BFC hopes to break into the top six as quickly as possible, currently five points behind. It is only BFC’s third game at home this season. In its last home game, East Bengal (EBFC) took a clean sheet and all three points from the Blues.
Head coach Simon Grayson will be hoping his side replicates the performance that was put in against the Gaurs in the last game. A Javi Hernandez brace did the trick last time, and the Spaniard is expected to start in midfield against the Mariners. Roy Krishna and Udanta Singh bagged one assist each.
“Delighted with the reaction. I mentioned before the game about the edge in training. When you suffer a defeat, as we did in Mumbai, you must make sure there is a reaction. We worked extremely hard, and the game plan worked well. We took the chances to score at the right times, and Gurpreet made some vital saves to get the result. However, we cannot go back to not working hard because we have to improve, and now we face a tough test in ATK Mohun Bagan,” said Grayson.
ATKMB will play its first ISL game at a stadium where its opponents have lost just five out of 33 games. However, the Mariners come into this game with the historical advantage of being the only side not lost to the Blues in the ISL. In the last match, an 11th-minute Hugo Boumous strike was enough to give ATKMB the win over HFC. Subhashish Bose had a stellar contest at the back to ensure a clean sheet for his side - the defender is set to make his 50th ISL appearance for the club and become the third player to do so.
“We are unsatisfied with our position because our mentality is to be at the top of the table. Every match is important because the difference between the top six or seven teams is minimal. It is necessary to continue working and get three points in every match. We want to keep improving and fight till the end. We are still at the beginning of the season. Let’s see where we are next month,” head coach Juan Ferrando said.
The two sides have met four times in the ISL. ATKMB has emerged victorious on three occasions, while one game has ended in a draw. The Blues will be looking to put their winless streak against the Mariners to rest when the clash next.