ISL 2017: ATK vs FC Goa Match Preview

Atletico De Kolkata

Last time out…

ATK’s last game of 2017 saw them face Delhi Dynamos in a game they could ill afford not to win; the first half saw a rather tense encounter where both teams pretty much cancelled each other out. Both teams had the same amount of shots on target, the same amount of corners, possession was split down the middle and ATK shaded the completed passes by the grand total of ten, so something would have to give after the break if the game wasn’t to end goalless. Teddy Sheringham’s side turned it on after the interval as they dominated proceedings and Robbie Keane got his first goal in what was only his second start for the club, whether it is his boyhood club or not remains to be seen.

FC Goa slipped to a home defeat at the hands of Pune City as they saw off 2017 with an impressive controlling performance that lacked that something special; the second half saw them have 61% of the ball yet it was that very half that saw Pune score both of their goals in what was the perfect smash ‘n’ grab by the away side. One of Goa’s biggest problems was their wastefulness in front of goal as it wasn’t even due to their lack of creativity that they lost, it was Moreso that Pune were the more clinical of the two. It will be something that Lobera will be keen to avoid again.

The press conferences…

The former Spurs and Man United striker, Teddy Sheringham who is in charge of ATK, was fast to compliment FC Goa as he started his press conference by saying:

“I’m very impressed with FC Goa; they have very good foreign players and one or two good Indian players too. We have to be at our best to beat them as they are a very dangerous team,’’

Teddy carried on by saying something which will put every ATK fan at ease:

“In every game, we have tried to score a goal”

He concluded by saying he will be taking nothing for granted despite their good run of form:

“You have to earn the right to win these matches and get points on the table which are very hard to come by,’

Derrick Pereira deputised for Sergio Lobera for the away side’s press conference and began by saying;

“It is their home match and they have a good side. Every team is trying to settle down and find the right combination.”

Both managerial setups complimenting each other, I wish they’d slag one another off now and again. Anyway, he echoed what I said earlier about the game against Pune, cheers Derrick;

“We had our chances in the last match which we did not take. There were some decisions which went against us. That is football.”

He finished by saying:

“We have worked towards tightening up at the back. We are aware of ATK’s attacking style.”

Bit of a strange thing to say if you ask me because Goa have scored the most goals in the league, ah well. Let the mind games begin.

The game itself…

Preparation for FC Goa could have gone slightly better as their plane to Kolkata had to crash land meaning that they won’t get to the stadium until relatively late which is no fault of anyone else but Sergio Lobera as he was keen to train in Goa on the eve of the game as opposed to flying to Kolkata and training there, let’s hope it doesn’t prove too costly. Free-scoring Goa will be looking to maintain their record as the top scorers in the ISL and their last away game (vs Delhi) yielded five goals, so Lobera will be hoping for much of the same.

ATK will be keen to make it three in a row as they look to push on into the playoffs and a win against Goa will put them a point behind their opponents and two points outside the coveted playoff spots with a game in hand. They’ve only played the two home games so far this campaign and that has seen them lose one and win one, but Sheringham will be hoping Robbie Keane will prove to be a catalyst, now that his captain is match fit once more.

Ones to watch…

Robbie Keane – I can’t look beyond Robbie Keane for ATK’s one to watch because he was one of my favourite players to watch whilst he was growing up at Wolves which does make me slightly biased, but even if I take my bias away from it all, he’s a player who has scored on every stage he has played on and whilst Goa will know he’ll be the danger man, there’s sometimes not a lot you can do to stop Keane.

Coro – Whilst Goa are the top scorers in the league, Coro has the most goals individually and the majority of those came in the back to back hattricks that he scored against Bengaluru and Kerala respectively. His link-up play with Lanzarote has elevated them to one of the most feared partnerships in the division and what they did against the ‘Blasters’ was quite frankly brilliant. If they can get anywhere near that against ATK, then we will have a game on our hands.

One more thing…

All things considered, if I was a betting man and luckily I am, I’d be backing over 2.5 goals @ even money. If you have been following my ‘put yer house on’ bets, you’d now be up to three houses, this isn’t one of those, unfortunately, I’m sure there’ll be one again soon.

About the Author

Jake Flock
Football and writing are my two biggest passions, so seems right to combine the pair, don't you think?