Kolkata: Atletico de Kolkata will have an herculean task against Chennaiyan FC as both the teams meet at the Yuva Bharti Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata for the second leg of the second semi-final on Wednesday. Chennaiyin have a massive 3-0 lead over their rivals. ATK will have to score atleast three goals and have to concede none to stay in the title race. It will be an extremely difficult job for Habas's boys but not an impossible one.
To add to their miseries, their skipper and key player, Borja Fernandes is injured and not sure for the clash. He was injured during the previous leg only in Pune and had to be benched in the first half, which gave Chennaiyin the edge and they went on to score three goals.
But the home side will draw inspiration from the fact they have scored four goals in their home ground twice in the league, once against FC Goa and another time against Pune City FC. It was Habas's wrong approach of ultra defensive football simply backfired in the previous leg. Also some of his weird decisions like replacing Sameegh Doutie with Baljit Sahni was inexplicable. Their star players like Ian Hume, Arata Izumi and Gavilan were also impactless in front of a spirited Chennaiyin side. Morever their defence looked extremely shaky which allowed Mendoza and Jeje to score goals.
Now if ATK wished to reach the final, they will have to change their approach completely and rectify their mistakes in the last match. No wonder they will opt an all out offensive strategy to get as many goals as possible but will also have to take care of the fact that they cannot allow their rivals to score any more goals. ATK's goalkeeper, young Amrinder Singh too has to be cautious this time as he tried to be a 'Manuel Neuer' in the previous match which cost his team two goals.
Talking of the visiting team, Chennaiyin FC will start as the firm favourites in this match. Marquee player and free-kick specialist Elano Bloomer and right back Mehrajuddin Wadoo will be back in their squad to add to their strength. They have two amazing forwards in their team, namely Colombian Steven Mendoza and Jeje Lalpekhlua. Mendoza has been in phenomenal form as he has scored 12 goals in this season and Jeje too has been scoring important goals for his team in their time of needs.
Chennaiyin's defence will be led by a solid Bernard Mendy who completely nullified the ATK attacks in the last match. Their last man of defence, Edel Bete, too, is an asset for the team as he is capable of saving anything that comes his way. Coach Marco Matterazi must be quiet satisfied with his team and team's performance and would only want his team to play their natural game.
There is high chance that the game might become physical with a bunch of tackles, fouls and cards waiting to spring up. ATK will be banking upon their 50,000 plus crowd support in the stands to act as their 12th man. Altogether, it looks like it is going to be a highly entertaining match at the Salt Lake Stadium.
Atletico de Kolkata:
Amrinder(GK), Augustin, Arnab, Tiri,Mohanraj,Nato, Alonso,Gavilan,Arata, Doutie,Hume(C)