ISL Match Preview: Atletico de Kolkata vs FC Goa | Sportzwiki

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ISL Match Preview: Atletico de Kolkata vs FC Goa 

Atletico de Kolkata host FC Goa in the first leg of second Semi-final in the Indian Super League at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata. The return leg of the semifinal will be held in Goa on December 17.

FC Goa finished the group stage at second of the table with 22 points, while Atletico de Kolkata finished third with 19 points, after the draw against FC Goa in their final game. Atletico de Kolkata defeated FC Goa 2-1 in Goa and drew 1-1 at home to qualify for the Semi-finals.

Atletico de Kolkata only registered only one win in their last 10 games, while FC Goa went unbeaten over their last eight games to go from bottom of the league table to second place.

Team News:

ATLETICO DE KOLKATA:

Atletico de Kolkata are battling with injuries with striker Fikru Tefera being the latest entrant to the list. Arnab Mondal has been ruled out of the game and Biswajit Saha and Josemi also with injuries but might feature in this game. Baljit Sahni is suspended for the game having picked up four yellow cards.

Coach Antonio Lopez Habas will look to give a start for skipper Luis Garcia, who looked good in the previous games. Calvin Lobo might return in the stating line-up after recovering from an injury.

Atletico de Kolkata Possible Starting XI:

A. Edel; Josemi , Biswajit Saha , Nallapan Mohannraj , Jofre Mateu , Offenso Nato , Borja Fernadez , Kingkshuk Debnath , Luis Garcia , Mohammed Rafi , Clavin Lobo

FC GOA :

From the bottom of the table at the halfway point of the league to second place and a spot in the semifinals after a phenomenal performance over the course of the second half of the season, FC Goa’s journey in the ISL is no less than a fairy tale.FC Goa went unbeaten in the last seven games.

Defender Bruno Pinheiro will miss both legs of the semifinals through suspension after being red-carded in the previous match in a penalty incident against Kolkata in the league game. Gregory Arnolin and Youness Bengelloun will be the centre-back pairing for Goa with Narayan Das and Debabrata Roy on either side of the defence. Romeo Fernandes and Mandar Rao Dessai have been impressive for Goa and Andre Santos and Miroslav Slepicka who have been rested in the prevoius game will be back in the starting line-up.

FC GOA Possible Starting XI:

Jan Seda; Gregory Arnolin , Youness Bengelloun , Narayan Das , Debabrata Roy , Romeo Fernandes , Zohib Amiri , Sheikh Jewel Raja , Mandar Rao Dessai , Miroslav Slepicka , Andre Santos

Manager Quotes:

Atletico de Kolkata manager Antonio Lopez Habas:

“If we are thinking about pressure then we should stay home. I think there can’t be any favourites in the semifinals of a tournament with such high competition. We are expecting an even game tomorrow.”

“We always try to play attacking football. Sometimes we get successful in that and sometimes we don’t.”

FC Goa manager Zico:

“We prepare to play football. Our only focus is on our team and the opponent.”

“It is a semifinal and two of the strongest teams are playing. It will be important for us to maintain consistency for 180 minutes and play equally well in both matches.”

 

Player Battles:

Luis Garcia vs Gregory Arnolin :

Luis Garcia was on the bench in the previous match but was introduced at half-time when his side needed a goal to stay in the competition. Coach Antonio Habas will definitely look to start with Garcia in this match. He will be up against a strong Goan defence with the likes of Gregory Arnolin and Youness Bengelloun. Arnolin is a very physical defender and he will have to  use his technique right to keep the Goan defence at bay.

Andre Santos vs Borja Fernandez:

Andre Santos has been in tremendous form for FC Goa having scored four goals in the competition. Santos will be back to take advantage of the make-shift Kolkata defense. He will be up against Borja Fernandez, who plays in a defensive midfield role. It will be interesting to see how Borja manages to stop Andre Santos, who’s set pieces have caused issues for all teams.

STATS:

  • Atletico de Kolakata  are Unbeaten against FC Goa in their 2 games.
  • FC Goa goalkeeper Jan Seda has the best saves per shot-on-target ratio (81.63%).
  • FC Goa scored 21 goals in the competition, while Atletico de Kolkata managed to score 16 goals.

Recent Form (Most Recent First):

Atletico de Kolkata:  DLDDL

FC Goa  :  DWWWW

Prediction:

Atletico de Kolkata 1 – 2 FC Goa

Picture Courtesy: Indian Super League

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