Atletico ready for Chennaiyin clash

Kolkata, Nov 17 (IANS) Boosted by the return of marquee player Helder Postiga and new recruit Dejan Lekic, defending champions Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) will take on bottom placed side Chennaiyin FC in an Indian Super League outing here on Wednesday.

It was Postiga’s brace which enabled ATK to win the first leg match between the two sides 3-2 in Chennai. But Postiga injured his hamstring in the process and was ruled out for a lengthy period of time.

He recuperated in Spain and Portugal and is now back in time for the last four home matches of his side at the Salt Lake stadium.

Atletico are presently fourth on the points table with 14 points from 10 matches and a win would give them the much needed momentum to qualify for the semis. Chennaiyin, on the other hand, would want to avenge their first leg loss and move up the ladder as they are at the bottom of the heap with just 10 points from 9 matches.

However, Chennaiyin need to get their act together as they come into the match having lost to FC Goa (0-2) and NorthEast United (1-2).

Both coaches, Antonio Lopez Habas of ATK and Chennaiyin’s Marco Materazzi are well aware it would be a difficult tie and therefore one would expect them to come up with a different strategy which can surprise the other team.

Materazzi would have faith in his strikers Steven Mendoza and Elano Blumer who have scored ten goals between them. But it is their defence that has been their weak link and the likes of Bernard Mendy would have to lift their game considerably.

ATK would want Postiga to fire if he starts, otherwise they would want Canadian forward Iain Hume to do the job for them.

It will also be interesting to see where and when does Habas play Serbian forward Lekic, a consummate goal poacher.

 

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