The Indian Super League has dished out so many surprises that only a brave man will continue to predict the outcomes of the games. It’s a good thing that gambling is illegal in the country or the first season of the high profile league would’ve seen countless daddies, brothers, and boyfriends ruin themselves with their bets.
The Scenario for FC Pune City
When FC Pune City met Atletico De Kolkata last time, they beat them silly and claimed the 3rd spot in the league. Four games and zero wins later, if they beat Kolkata again then they can claim the 4th spot in the league.
A loss wouldn’t be the end of the world for FC Pune City, though. The reason for this is that even if they lose, they’ll still be 2 points off the 4th qualifying spot.
A loss will cause two different types of problems for them. The first will come in the form of brittle confidence being shaken even further – 5 games without a win. The second will be their goal difference. FC Pune City have the second worst GD in the league and only the mauling of Mumbai City FC at the hands of Delhi Dynamos FC prevents them from being the worst. Pune’s GD is -5. A loss will make it even worse.
You can rest assured that GD will have a role to play when the last round of matches roll around the corner. There will be teams who will need to not only win but win by certain goal margins to cement their positions for the knockout round. FC Pune City will find themselves in real trouble then if they don’t start fixing their GD now.
They will have Kostas Katsouranis and David Trezeguet to rely upon but I don’t know the status of Davide Colomba who has proven crucial to their fortunes. If he doesn’t play then you can rest assured that Pune will miss him dearly.
Atletico De Kolkata’s Deceptive Position Vis-À-Vis Form
Atletico De Kolkata, themselves, are in dire straits. While their position in the Indian Super League (2nd) doesn’t really show it, they’ve actually won only once in their last 6 matches and even that win was a struggle for them.
In fact, they beat Northeast United FC by a single goal margin probably because Northeast United couldn’t score a goal at that time even if their lives depended on it.
Unlike a few matches ago, Kolkata can no longer take their qualifying for granted because if they lose today then there are four teams waiting to overtake them.
Effectively, hypothetically, a loss for Atletico De Kolkata could see them face their next opponents in danger of dropping to 5th or 6th position.
A win would mean a lot for Atletico De Kolkata. First and foremost, they’ll regain their confidence that they are the supreme team in the league which has been seriously dented these last few matches. Secondly, they have a chance to reclaim the top spot in the league with Chennaiyin FC floundering against Northeast United FC in their last outing.
If Atletico De Kolkata can win with a margin of 2 or more goals then they can topple Chennaiyin from the summit on GD. In such a scenario, both teams will be on 16 points but Kolkata will have a better GD.
Atletico De Kolkata will have all their key players available in the form of Luis Garcia, Fikru Teferra Lemessa, Jose Miguel Gonzalez Rey (Josemi), and Borja Fernandez so should ideally be able to turn on the magic on demand.
FC Pune’s Franco Colomba Explains Poor Form
In his pre-game press conference, Franco Colomba touched upon the competitiveness of ISL and how teams have been behaving like yoyos on strings in the table.
There has been constant shuffling of the pack which is partly due to the fact that there are only 8 teams in the league but also because they are all at the same level.
They will gradually sort themselves out in terms of consistency and quality. He also tried to explain his team’s poor performance on the fact that their last 3 games were on the road. This is what he said
This is football, and it’s not possible to foresee what can happen. My team played three matches away against opponents who were in good form and it was difficult, but now, we have three matches at home, and we want to take advantage of that and go higher in the league table.
That’s a good strategy from Colomba but while it may make the journos and his players feel better, it doesn’t bear up against closer scrutiny. Take for example the fact that FC Pune City beat Atletico De Kolkata, league leaders at the time, on their home turf! Similarly, it’s not like FC Pune City hasn’t lost at home either. They’ve lost to Kerala Blasters FC and drawn a number of games at home too.
Atletico De Kolkata Management Keeping Cards Close To Their Chests
While Franco Colomba was refreshingly open about his analysis, Atletico De Kolkata’s management was specifically vague about their comments. Their respective press conference was led by their Goalkeeping Coach, Deshi Bhaktawer.
He said that his team were looking to put in 120% in their game but he did specify that they’re not out to take revenge against FC Pune City.
This is another side of this upcoming game. When FC Pune City visited Atletico De Kolkata last, they defeated with a score line of 3 – 1. His exact comments:
What’s important is that we come here and give our 120 per cent. They are a good team, and we are well aware of that, but it’s not about revenge.
Even considering what Bhaktawer has said, I doubt Atletico De Kolkata don’t want revenge. They seem to me like a very proud team who would want to set the record straight against Pune. You should expect Atletico De Kolkata to be especially aggressive tomorrow even though some people are suggesting that they’ll play for one point.
Let’s see who wins out in this tag team match when Garcia, Josemi, and Fikru go up against Katsouranis, Trezeguet, and Dudu Omagbemi.