Two of the in-form teams of the Indian Super League (ISL) are set to clash on Monday when ATK Mohun Bagan host Bengaluru FC at the Fatorda Stadium.
While ATKMB boast a strong attacking line-up, they have even better defensive stats, Bengaluru’s figures aren’t bad either. They are yet to taste a defeat in the campaign. This showdown promises to be even more captivating than usual with both teams flying high and currently in top four positions.
ATKMB coach Antonio Habas, aware of the challenge that awaits for his side, has his sights set on nothing less than three points.
“I think it’s impossible to win every match. The teams are more balanced and it’s very difficult for all teams to keep on winning three points,” said Habas. “The idea in football is to get three points. I cannot play thinking about the possibility of drawing or losing.”
ATKMB’s defenders have the most number of tackles in the league (233) and have also made the second-most clearances in the league (182).
“The idea is marking in the zone and closing down the spaces. You need space for crosses and to create moves. The idea is that the opponent doesn’t find any space to attack,” said Habas.
“Bengaluru is a strong team. For us, three points are the same as in other matches but I know that Bengaluru vs ATK Mohun Bagan is an important match. We respect the opponent and 90 minutes will decide the match,” he added.
Bengaluru FC coach Carles Cuadrat faces a huge task to maintain his unbeaten start against a ‘physical challenge’ from ATK Mohun Bagan.
“They (ATK Mohun Bagan) have a team with very tough players. We know about them; big bodies and playing with a high tempo. We saw in their game against FC Goa how their players play as a compact unit and try to take advantage of counterattacks and open spaces,” explained Cuadrat.
“Habas’s team was champion for a reason. They know how to defend and how to be dangerous in their attacks. That’s what we have to try and avoid. We have to create enough chances to score because they are very good defensively, they have conceded the fewest goals so far. They employ a very good defensive structure and we will try to beat them,” he said.