Friday, September 15, 2023

Hero ISL 2020-21: ATK Mohun Bagan vs Kerala Blasters FC match preview

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The wait is finally over. The Hero Indian Super League 2020-21 is all set to kick-off today and it’s ATK Mohun Bagan vs Kerala Blasters FC.

The newly merged entity of the ISL champions ATK FC and I League champions Mohun Bagan is ready to start a whole new journey while on the other side, KBFC will be searching for their first ever title in 7 years.

The two times Hero ISL runner-up KBFC, under the guidance of Mohun Bagan’s I League winning coach, Kibu Vicuna has played more ISL openers than any other ISL team. The Blasters also have exciting fullbacks in former Hero ISL winner Nishu Kumar and Jessel Carneiro, who provided five assists last season.

The Blasters possess a lot of talent in midfield as well. Sergio Cidoncha, who will be competing in his third Hero ISL campaign, will be bolstering the midfield. Also, Argentine attacker Facundo Pereyra is a player who can create chances from the centre and it will be quite interesting to see how Vicuna decides to use him.

Vicente Gomez is the other linchpin for the Kochi-based club. Jeakson Singh, Prasanth Karuthadathkuni, Sahal Abdul Samad and Seityasen Singh can also be their Indian options in midfield besides Nongdamba Naorem who can expect some game time under Vicuna.

ATKMB vs Kerala Blasters

ATK Mohun Bagan, on the other hand, will be hoping for a win on their Hero ISL debut under head coach Antonio Lopez Habas and they are a team which can make that happen. From defence to attack, the newly-merged entity possess both quality and depth.

Their centre-back pairing of Tiri and Sandesh Jhingan, who will be playing for the first time ever against his former club Kerala Blasters FC, is as strong as any in the league. Also, the fullbacks of the Kolkata-based club, Pritam Kotal, Subhasish Bose and Prabir Das have got great potential to showcase.

They also have experience in the middle with Javier Hernandez, Carl McHugh, Bradden Inman, Pronay Halder, Jayesh Rane and Michael Soosairaj being the prime midefielders in ATK Mohun Bagan’s lineup. Even the Mohun Bagan boy, SK Sahil may have some game time under Antonio Lopez Habas.

The Mariners will be relying on the tried and tested duo of Roy Krishna and David Williams to score the goals this campaign. They combined to score 22 times last season and will hoping to have a similar impact with ATK Mohun Bagan. In short, the the Hero ISL 2020-21 opener is going to be absolutely worth watching.