One of the two established football powerhouses of India ATK Mohun Bagan are all set to take on Bengaluru FC in the opening group stage match of the AFC Cup at the National Stadium in Male in Maldives on Wednesday. (More Football News)
While ATK Mohun Bagan qualified for the group stages of the competition by virtue of the erstwhile Mohun Bagan's victorious 2019-20 I-League campaign. The club has strengthened its team since their 2020-21 Indian Super League final defeat to Mumbai City FC.
Apart from the two Indian clubs, Group D also has Maldives Maziya S&RC and Bangaldesh’s Bashundhara Kings.
BFC head coach Marco Pezzaiuoli said his side would have to be at their best against ATK Mohun Bagan. Bengaluru had defeated Club Eagles 1-0 in the playoff on Sunday. Only one team is set to qualify for the Inter-zone playoff semifinals.
“Our last game was only two days ago, so it was a short recovery for the team. It's not really an advantage, but I can see the glass either as half empty or half full, and I choose to see it half full. There was a good spirit and positive energy in the team after the win,” said Pezzaiuoli.
ATK Mohun Bagan have added several players to their squad over the summer, including the likes of French midfielder Hugo Boumous, Amrinder Singh, Liston Colaco, Ashutosh Mehta, Bidyananda Singh and Deepak Tangri.
“ATK Mohun Bagan like to play a lot of long passes, go for the second ball and press high up on the pitch, which calls for a different approach from us. But they have also changed things in the summer, by bringing in a French foreigner (Hugo Boumous), among other players. This shows that they want to win the Indian Super League and the AFC Cup. We have to be in good spirit, show good focus and I am certain that we have a chance of winning tomorrow,” Pezzaiuoli added.
BFC goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu said the task at hand was one that required focus and commitment from all corners.
“It’s true that things are different this time, because there are fewer games to play in the Group. But it is still difficult, and we have to be focused. It was important for us to get into the Group Stage because we want to do well in Asia, as a club. Now it’s up to us to make sure we put on a good performance and try to do our best in each game,” said Gurpreet.
Where To Watch ATK Mohun Bagan vs Bengaluru FC Live in India?
The ATK Mohun Bagan vs Bengaluru FC AFC Cup group match will start at 4:30 PM IST and will be telecast live on the Star Sports Network in India.
Live streaming of AFC Cup 2021 in India will be available on Disney+ Hotstar.
ATK Mohun Bagan: Goalkeepers: Arindam Bhattacharya, Amrinder Singh, Avilash Paul, Defenders: Pritam Kotal, Subhasish Bose, Ashutosh Mehta, Sumit Rathi, Midfielders: Carl McHugh, Bidyananda Singh, Lenny Rodrigues, Engson Singh, Sheikh Sahil, Deepak Tangri, Ricky Shabong, Forwards: Liston Colaco, Abhishek Suryavanshi, Kiyan Nassiri, Manvir Singh, David Williams, Hugo Boumous, Roy Krishna
Bengaluru FC: Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Lalthuammawia Ralte, Lara Sharma, Sharon Padattil, Defenders: Pratik Chaudhari, Wungngayam Muirang, Ajith Kumar, Ashique Kuruniyan, Parag Shrivas, Yrondu Musavu-King, Biswa Darjee, Alan Costa, Sarthak Golui
Midfielders: Suresh Wangjam, Namgyal Bhutia, Jayesh Rane, Danish Farooq, Rohit Kumar, Muhammad Inayat, Ajay Chhetri, Forwards: Sunil Chhetri, Udanta Singh, Cleiton Silva, Leon Augustine, Naorem Roshan Singh, Bidyashagar Singh, Sivasakthi Narayanan, Akashdeep Singh, Harmanpreet Singh