A struggling ATK outfit will hope to turn their fortunes this season as they face Bengaluru FC at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata on Saturday evening.
|Game||ATK vs Bengaluru FC|
|Date||Saturday, February 3|
|Time||8:00 PM IST (GMT +5:30)|
TV CHANNELS & LIVE STREAM
The Star Sports Network have the exclusive broadcasting rights of the ISL. The games will be telecast with the option of English and/or Hindi commentary over their bouquet of television as well as digital platforms.
|India (English) TV channel||Online streams|
|Star Sports 2/HD||Hotstar and Jio TV|
Commentary will also be available in vernacular languages across India.
|Hindi TV channel||Bengali TV channel|
|Star Sports Hindi 1/ HD||Jalsha Movies/HD|
|Malayalam TV channel||Kannada TV channel|
|Asianet Movies/HD||Suvarna Plus/HD|
Doubtful: Robbie Keane
Key Players: Martin Paterson, Jayesh Rane
Injured: Braulio Nobrega
Doubtful: Dimas Delgado
Suspended: Harmanjot Khabra
Key Players: Miku, Sunil Chhetri
A lot will be at stake for ATK this weekend when they take on Bengaluru FC. The headline will of course, be on Ashley Westwood, the former coach of Bengaluru FC who is now the interim manager of the Kolkata franchise. The English coach has lost the previous two games, a first for him in Indian football.
Certainly, the former Penang FC coach will look to get it right on Saturday so that he at least picks up a win in what will be the final match in the capacity of player-manager.
The reigning champions have scored a paltry eight goals in 12 matches and need to up the ante if they wish to make it into the knockouts. Robbie Keane has been training with the team and whether or not he does feature remains to be seen.
The former Liverpool FC striker has been a massive disappointment given that he has spent more time cooling his heels off in Europe due to injuries than spending time with his team-mates in India.
A lot of focus will also be on former Bengaluru players, namely Keegan Pereira and Robin Singh. The left-back will be keen to prove a point to Albert Roca who didn’t use him much last season.
Robin would look to replicate his performance against Bengaluru from last I-League season where he scored the winner and inflicted the first defeat of the season on Roca’s side.
Meanwhile, Bengaluru FC come into the game on the back of a comfortable 3-0 win in the midweek AFC Cup play-off fixture against Transport United of Bhutan. Albert Roca fielded his second-string side so as to keep his regular starters fresh.
When these two sides met earlier this year in Bangalore, it took a special strike from Sunil Chhetri to separate the two. Chhetri will be keen to make a mark and not just compete for the top Indian goal scorer honour but for the Golden Boot given that he has eight already in his tally.
Star striker Miku didn’t have the best of the games against NorthEast United and the Venezuelan will look to get back on the score-sheet.
Dimas Delgado could possibly be fit after missing the last Indian Super League (ISL) tie due to a niggle.
It will be interesting to see if Roca continues to hand John Johnson and Juanan a start in the central defence. Certainly, they look far more assured when the two foreign players are included in the starting eleven as opposed to deploying Rahul Bheke as a central defender.
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu will probably play his first game in Kolkata since leaving East Bengal and the India number one would look to put in a splendid shift at the back.
A win for Bengaluru would further assure them of a berth in the play-offs. ATK can ill afford to drop more points and Westwood will be motivated to get one over his former club.
Will Westwood mastermind a victory over Bengaluru or will Roca’s armada be too hot to handle for the Kolkata side?