ATK Mohun Bagan have traditionally been one of the most consistent and successful sides in the history of the Indian Super League. Well, it was ATK before and now, they have merged themselves with one of the most historic and dominant sides in Indian football and this union almost reaped success in the ISL last season as the side reached the final where they lost to Mumbai City FC. But they are back this season and with more zeal, enthusiasm and energy, the Mariners look to get their hands on the ultimate prize and sit at the top of the mountain in Indian football once again. SC East Bengal vs ATK Mohun Bagan, ISL 2021–22: A Look at History and Some Facts About the Iconic Kolkata Derby
Let us take a look at their profile, analyze their strengths, weaknesses and also their head coach, Antonio Habas.
ATK Mohun Bagan is one of those sides that have a hoard of star players in their ranks. These names necessarily might not be big ones but their players are proven customers in the league and have, time and time again, performed consistently to the team’s success. No wonder this side has been incredibly consistent. Their star power might be their strength but what really is also a very big plus is the Indian contingent of this franchise. From players like Liston Colaco (who scored a screamer against Kerala Blasters), Pritam Kotal, Michael Soosairaj and also Ashutosh Mehta amongst others, they also have exciting young players like Sumit Rathi, Sk Sahil and Manvir Singh. The perfect blend of foreign experience and a talented Indian batch makes ATK Mohun Bagan a really strong force to reckon with, in this year’s competition.
The key players’ list for ATKMB this season would definitely include Roy Krishna. In him, the franchise has found a consistent marksman who can guarantee 10+ goals every season. He would not have Edu Garcia this time around but the club has done remarkable business in securing the services of star midfielder Hugo Boumous, who won the ISL title last season with Mumbai City FC. Fans saw glimpses of how lethal the Boumous-Krishna partnership can become and hence, one can say that there are more things to come from this pair. SC East Bengal vs ATK Mohun Bagan, ISL 2021–22: Ahead of Kolkata Derby, Take a Look at Last Five Meetings Between the Two Giants
Apart from Boumous, ATK Mohun Bagan have a lot of experience in the midfield in Joni Kauko and Carl McHugh. In defense, they have the reliable Tiri, who has done well in ISL over the years. Apart from him, Pritam Kotal, Subhashish Bose, Sumit Rathi and Prabir Das would once again aim to be rock solid. No wonder ATK conceded the least number of goals (13) in the group stage games last season. Though they lost Golden Glove-winning goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya, Amrinder Singh, who won the ISL last season is more than just a suitable replacement.
The lack of an experienced centre-back would be a gap in ATK Mohun Bagan’s squad this season. They let go of Sandesh Jhingan but failed to replace him. More so, the entire onus of their creativity in the midfield is on Boumous. If he is injured, then ATKMB might struggle as Kauko is relatively new to Indian football.
In Antonio Lopez Habas, ATK Mohun Bagan have a coach who has loads of ISL experience. As a matter of fact, Habas and ATK Mohun Bagan’s (formerly ATK) love story date back to 2014 when the ISL started. Habas won the title that year and then returned to the club for a second spell to add another ISL trophy to his and the franchise’s cabinet. He can get slightly defensive at times but Habas’s experience coupled with ATK Mohun Bagan’s deadly attack and solid defense makes a brilliant match.
Goalkeepers: Amrinder Singh, Arsh Anwer Shaikh, Avilash Paul
Midfielders: SK Sahil, Bidyananda Singh, Ricky Shabong, Carl McHugh, Hugo Boumous, Abhishek Suryavanshi, Engson Singh, Kiyan Nassiri, Joni Kauko, Lenny Rodrigues
Forwards: Roy Krishna, Liston Colaco, Manvir Singh, David Williams
Next match: After having defeated Kerala Blasters 4-2 in the opening game of the ISL this season, ATK Mohun Bagan now would cross paths with archrivals SC East Bengal.
(The above story first appeared on Onhike on Nov 24, 2021 11:30 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website onhike.com).