Heavyweights ATK Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC will look to get their house in order and get back to winning ways when the two arch-rivals clash in an Indian Super League match in Bambolim, Goa on Thursday. (More Football News)
The Mariners are yet to win from three matches as they have slipped to number six in the table, while their Bengaluru rivals are on a three-match losing streak to be further below at ninth place in the 11-team standings.
In such a scenario, both teams will be desperate to turn it around.
It has not been a rough sailing for ATK Mohun Bagan, the finalists of last season, conceding eight goals so far, including five in one game against league leaders Mumbai City FC.
A win will take them into the top four but for that they need their key players firing on all cylinders.
Hugo Boumous began his stint with ATKMB scoring two goals in their 4-2 triumph against Kerala Blasters on the opening day of the new season. Since then, the highly-rated Frenchman has not scored or assisted.
This is just the second time in his ISL career when he has gone without a goal or an assist in four straight games and he would look to get back his rhythm.
It would be a milestone moment for their star Fijian marksman Roy Krishna who will become the 21st foreigner to reach 50 ISL appearances when he takes the field.
"I have the same opinion about Roy Krishna as in the past. He is one of the best players in the ISL," Habas said of the Fijian.
"Bengaluru FC have a good history and they are a good team. We have to prepare as best as we can," he added.
The task would be a tad difficult for the former champions Blues who have looked a shadow of their past and leaked 10 goals in their five-game winless streak.
Their porous defence has overall shipped 12 goals in six matches, making it their worst ever goals conceded tally in the league.
The club have kept zero clean sheets in their last 10 games, conceding 21 goals in the process, showing India's No 1 goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu in poor light too as the tall custodian has been guilty of making mistakes under the bar.
The Marco Pezzaiuoli-coached team have not clicked as a unit with their foreign signings also not showing that extra spark barring Cleiton Silva and Prince Ibara to some extent.
Brazilian forward Silva has been the only ray of light in Bengaluru FC's disappointing start to the season.
He has scored three goals and an assist so far this season and also created 11 goal scoring opportunities, the highest in the team.
Sunil Chhetri has also been off colour and the Indian football icon will look to end his
barren run in front of goal.
"The players are motivated. We had one of the best training sessions today. We deserved to have more points. We need to get the goals. In football, it's about concentration and communication," Pezzaiuoli said on the eve of the match.
"It won't be easy against ATK Mohun Bagan. But we will fight for three points," he concluded.