Pune, ATK determined for win to remain in hunt (Preview)

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13 Feb 2019, 18:36 IST
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FC Pune Metropolis. (Photograph: Twitter/@FCPuneCity)

Pune, Feb 9 (IANS) FC Pune Metropolis and ATK lock horns in an intriguing Indian Tremendous League (ISL) conflict right here on Sunday, realizing something lower than a win will peg them again a good distance within the battle for a semi-final spot.

Each groups are in with a combating probability of constructing it to the play-offs.

ATK, with 20 factors from 14 video games, are positioned sixth on the desk and are 4 factors off the fourth spot. Pune are a spot beneath with 14 factors however have 5 matches left to play, giving them an out of doors probability of moving into the highest 4.

Nonetheless, something lower than victory on the Shree Chhatrapati Shivaji Sports activities Complicated right here on Sunday will likely be deadly to both groups’ hopes. And that might set the tone for an interesting tussle.

The hosts are coming into the tie on the again of a three-match profitable run, the newest being a 2-1 away win over Chennaiyin FC. Whereas the momentum is with the Stallions, new coach Phil Brown would need them to enhance defence, which appeared shaky at occasions in Chennai.

“My plan is to get my key gamers on the ball and that who can win us the sport. Final week (in opposition to Chennaiyin FC) we did that efficiently in direction of the top, however we want that from the beginning. Even when we go a objective behind we have to win the sport. We have to win the remaining video games. We’ve to get our noses in entrance after which develop from that confidence,” mentioned coach Phil Brown.

Steve Coppell’s facet had been probably not prolific up entrance within the preliminary a part of the season. They’d scored solely 10 objectives within the 12 matches earlier than the break however have discovered the web thrice in two matches now.

After bringing in Edu Garcia within the winter switch window, the crew appears extra fluid and threatening going ahead.

The potential return of star striker Kalu Uche additionally provides extra chew to the ATK assault. The interaction between Manuel Lanzarote, Garcia and Everton Santos has been beautiful at occasions, as Jamshedpur FC discovered in ATK’s final match which completed 2-1 in favour of the facet from Kolkata.

A win for ATK will put them inside some extent of fourth-placed NorthEast United and increase confidence as they enter the enterprise finish of the league.

“The temper has been considered one of anticipation, we sit up for each sport. We’ve been (shut) to the highest 4, now we have to make that hole as small as doable. We go into the ultimate three matches and we’re nonetheless involved, actually, something can occur,” mentioned Coppell.

The defence led by John Johnson will must be cautious of Pune’s pacy frontmen and Coppell does have a dilemma in entrance of him as as to if to deploy Andre Bikey alongside John Johnson, which might imply he should sacrifice a foreigner in assault.

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