Three Points The Priority For Blues In Final Away Game of 2022-23 League Season
Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC make their final away trip of the 2022-23 League season as they face ATK Mohun Bagan at the Salt Lake Stadium, in Kolkata, on Sunday. Fresh off the back of four wins on the spin, the Blues have reinvigorated their chances of making it to the playoffs. They will now look to solidify their prospects of playoff qualification with a win against the Mariners.
“We’re going into this game with confidence after winning our last four games. They’re in a strong position in the league, but I’m sure Juan (Ferrando) and his side will also be aware of how well we can play. It will be two good teams going head to head,” said Bengaluru FC head coach Simon Grayson when addressing the media ahead of Sunday’s fixture.
“We are at the business end of the season and want to win as many games as possible. But we know that tomorrow night will be a difficult game, and ATK Mohun Bagan would also want to win to maintain their place in the playoffs,” Grayson added.
ATK Mohun Bagan were 1-0 victors, thanks to a strike from Dimitri Petratos when the two teams met in the reverse fixture in early December. For this game though, Ferrando will be without the services of winger Ashique Kuruniyan and influential midfielder Hugo Boumous, through suspensions received by the duo in the Kolkata side’s most recent encounter against Odisha FC
“Whenever good players are missing from your opponent it is an advantage. But, ATK Mohun Bagan are one of the strongest teams in the League, so they will have players who will be desperate to prove themselves when given the opportunity. What we have to try and do is ensure that the majority of our players have a better night than our opponents. We have players who are in good form and have to be on top of our game to defeat ATK Mohun Bagan,” said Grayson, when asked about the unavailability of the aforementioned duo.
The hosts will once again bank on the form of Petratos who is their highest goalscorer (7) and assist provider (6) this season. The Australian, along with the creative force of Uruguayan Federico Gallego and the pace of Liston Colaco, will prove to be a stern test for the Blues’ backline.
Bengaluru FC will again look to their in-form forwards Sivasakthi and Roy Krishna to get past the Mariners’ defence, which has conceded the second-lowest number of goals in the League this season.
“We just want to approach each game one by one. The confidence is there, but we are also respectful of our opponents. The focus entirely is on tomorrow’s game and then on the game against Kerala. We will see where we finish at the end,” Grayson mused.
A win on Sunday will provisionally place Bengaluru FC in sixth spot with 25 points, just two points behind Juan Ferrando’s side who currently hold fourth spot in the league standings.
Kick-off between the two sides is scheduled for 7:30 pm IST on Sunday, and will be telecast live on the STAR Sports Network, Disney+Hotstar and JioTV.