ATK Mohun Bagan vs Mumbai City: 'This is an absolutely different match' says Antonio Habas

ATK Mohun Bagan looks a stronger team this time around, having bolstered their attack by bringing in Hugo Bumous and Joni Kauko.

ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Antonio Habas; Credit: Twitter/@atkmohunbaganfc

In form ATK Mohun Bagan will look to settle scores against reigning champions Mumbai City FC when the two sides face off in the third round of the 2021-22 Indian Super League (ISL) here on Wednesday in a repeat of last season’s final. The Mariner’s are coming into the match on the back of convincing wins in their opening two matches. Meanwhile Islanders have beaten their Kolkata rivals in all three games last season, including a 2-1 win for the title. However, this time around, Mumbai City under new boss Des Buckingham started brightly with a 3-0 win over FC Goa but suffered a humiliating 3-1 loss to Hyderabad FC in the previous match.

“It is important to win every day. We have to get the three points and more importantly we have to get into the habit of winning,” the Spanish coach said on Tuesday. 

ATK Mohun Bagan looks a stronger team this time around, having bolstered their attack by bringing in Hugo Boumous from rivals Mumbai City for a record five-year deal. The Frenchman is one of the top assist makers in the league and his ability to open up the opposition defence and penchant for scoring goals has certainly made the Mariners more lethal going forward.

Meanwhile new recruit Joni Kauko is also proving to be a very good signing by Habas. The Finnish midfielder played a crucial role in their 3-0 win against SC East Bengal and was adjudged man-of-the-match.

Mumbai City have changed from last season: Habas

But Habas isn’t taking this game as a revenge match.  “I think this is an absolutely different match. There is a new coach in Mumbai City (Des Buckingham) and some new players as well. They are not the same team for me. They have changed from last season. The 90 minutes on the pitch will make the difference,” Habas said.

The Spanish tactician dedicated the Derby win to former India and Mohun Bagan captain, the late Chuni Goswami. “We are very happy that we won the Derby. We want to dedicate the win to Chuni Goswami,” Habas said.

Habas’ 4-3-3 formation with Manvir singh and Liston Colaco as attacking wingers and Roy Krishna as the central striker is proving to be effective so far. Boumous plays behind Krishna while Kauko joins the attack whenever possible and also supports the defence. Lenny Rodrigues does the holding midfielders job.

The 64-year-old boss’ side as usual relies on counter-attacking strategy with less emphasis on ball possession. They let the opposition have the ball and like to hit them on the counter. The pace of Manvir and Liston allows the Mariners to breakaway quickly and Krishna is extremely clinical up front.

Sportslumo Desk

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