ISL 2017: ATK vs Chennaiyin Match Preview

Atletico De Kolkata

Thursday evening sees struggling ATK play host to high-flying Chennaiyin in a battle of the two halves of the league table. ATK come into this match needing a win and new interim manager Ashley Westwood will be looking for a positive start to his tenure, Chennaiyin will be looking at this game and thinking it is a game they cannot afford to draw or lose as they can go to the top of the table.  

The Stats…  

ATK come into the game with a horrible record for the season only winning three games out of the ten they have played overall. In these ten games, they have only managed to score seven goals, joint-lowest in the league right now. One positive for ATK is that they have one of the better defences in the league, only conceding twelve goals all season. In their last five games, ATK have only managed two wins, and those wins came against the two teams below them in the league, so they haven’t caused any upsets so far. However, with the change in management, ATK could start a run of good results and may look a different team under Westwood’s guidance. Is this where ATK start their season?   

Chennaiyin come into the game in fantastic form, they have won six of the eleven games this season and really look impressive. They sit 2nd in the league, as of writing this article, and boast a fairly good scoring record with seventeen goals going in and they have only conceded thirteen. They are coming into the game with the same record as their opponents in their previous five. Most recently they were upset by Avram Grant’s Northeast 3-1 but this was one of those games that any team could have lost. They have scored at least once in their previous five so it’s not like they are coming into the game struggling for goals, unlike their opponents.   

Previous Encounters…  

Chennaiyin are definitely going into the game with confidence as the last time ATK defeated them was back in the playoffs of 2015. Their last meeting ended in a dramatic 3-2 win for Gregory’s men, however, it wasn’t as clear-cut as you would think.   

All five goals came in the final twenty-five minutes and Chennaiyin scored the winner in the 91st minute. Gregory will be hoping for a less dramatic win and Westwood will be hoping to please both his new bosses and the ATK fans, who haven’t had much to cheer about this season.  

However, ATK dominated possession and had five more shots than their opponents. They also had many more shots on target and forced goalkeeper Karanjit Singh into five saves. I’m sure it would have been surprising to ATK fans to come out of that game with no points as they did play well. Although, Chennaiyin showed their clinical tendencies and took the game.  

The Game Itself…  

Looking at the game and the table, it should be easy to say Chennaiyin will dominate proceedings and come away with an easy win. However, that’s not how this league works. Like I said earlier, Chennaiyin lost to 2nd bottom Northeast last time out so why can’t ATK produce another upset. Especially with the change of manager at ATK, the honeymoon period could take place straight away and start with this game.  

I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a different look to ATK in terms of line-up and how they play. Westwood may see that possession for ATK wasn’t working and they may be better suited to go out against their opponents and produce a more defensive performance, looking to hurt their rivals on the counter-attack.    

Either way, this game could either be an end to end contest and ATK show their potential under Westwood or Chennaiyin could prove why they are at the top and completely dominate proceedings.  

Key Player…  

Now, I would obviously want to go with the Bald Bale David Cotterill but there are two reasons why I haven’t chosen him. One is the fact we haven’t seen him enough in the league to know if he will take the league by storm and secondly, he may not feature in the game at all, as he is still fighting for match fitness.   

So, I have chosen Chennaiyin striker Jeje Lalpekhula. He has six goals in ten games and will surely be looking at this game thinking he could easily add a few goals to that tally. He also allows players to get in behind the defence, with his defence stretching runs all game.   

But if Bald Bale starts then I choose him, I can do that right?  


Now, once again I have been given the reigns for this preview so I am going to save you from Jake’s cheesy finishing line and simply leave you with this. I think Chennaiyin will just come out as winners, 2-1, as ATK will try and impress under Westwood’s first game in charge. Once again, this is not what I went with for the prediction league, but honestly, I already know I’ve lost. Don’t tell Jake that…

About the Author

Stephen Beavon
Just a young football fan who likes to get his opinion across to others. Love Birmingham City, although it is difficult at times.