Last year’s runner-up ATK Mohun Bagan (ATKMB) will be seeking to obliterate the hurtful memories of the previous season when it hosts the defending champion Mumbai City FC at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda on Wednesday.
The two teams had been the most consistent names who gunned for the title last season but it was Mumbai City FC which stole the march, denying ATKMB the chance to win both the league winner’s shield and eventually the title. The MCFC beat ATKMB on all the three occasions they met in the league stage and in the final.
ATK Mohun Bagan resolved to get over the repeated setbacks and roped in Mumbai City’s most creative possession, Hugo Boumous, in the new season. This has given the Mariners the desired leverage as it won both its first two outings with convincing ease.
The confidence of outplaying the traditional rival SC East Bengal in the previous round will help ATK Mohun Bagan, which has looked formidable in the 3-5-2 formation instilled by head coach Antonio Lopez Habas.
Mumbai City FC has looked a bit hesitant under Des Buckingham, who assumed charge ahead of the new season. The shock 1-3 loss against the supposed underdog Hyderabad FC in the previous outing will be weighing on the holder as it looks to get back the winning rhythm.
With lot of quality under his command, Buckingham will be hoping the Islanders will spring back to their dominant form.
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