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Can FC Goa stop Juan Ferrando's ATK Mohun Bagan in a fixture laced with sub-plots?

06:34 GMT+3 28/12/2021
Hugo Boumous Bengaluru ATK Mohun Bagan ISL 8
WIll Juan Ferrando have the last laugh against his former employers?

There's a lot at stake when ATK Mohun Bagan takes on FC Goa in the Indian Super League (ISL)on Wednesday evening at the Fatorda stadium. There will be points to prove, both on and off the pitch.

Juan Ferrando recently parted ways with FC Goa after ATK Mohun Bagan activated a release clause in his contract earlier this month. It would be fair to state that FC Goa were riled up as a consequence and hence, were caught unaware with their manager deciding to switch ships.

Goa appointed Derrick Pereira, under whom they eked out a draw against Odisha, and are looking for their first win under the new regime. Meanwhile, Ferrando will want to prove that his decision to join ATK Mohun Bagan wasn’t just for financial reasons but more a case of being ambitious.

Ferrando will want the three points from this fixture at all means and so will his opposite number.

Whereas, Hugo Boumous will also want to leave the pitch with a win in the bag, as the midfielder has a chequered past with the Gaurs, before moving on to Mumbai City and now ATK Mohun Bagan.

Boumous thrived in the very first game under Ferrando and it will be interesting to see how he combines with star striker Roy Krishna, who looks a shadow of his former self this season. Boumous is in a rich vein of form and has already scored five goals in seven matches. He also boasts of having completed the most through balls (4) in this ISL. His peripheral vision is one of the best in the league and is a genius in unlocking defences. Although his link-up with Roy Krishna still needs some improvement, we have seen glimpses of what the duo can do if they play in tandem.

FC Goa will be boosted with the addition of Jorge Ortiz who missed out on the last two games due to suspension. They haven’t been at their clinical best in the current campaign having scored only 10 in seven matches, which is the second worst record in the league.

Pereira will also hope that his trump card in Alberto Noguera will put his best foot forward. The Spanish midfielder has been one of the few bright sparks in this beleaguered Goa side and a lot of will depend on his form against Bagan.

A mouthwatering clash is on the cards but before that let us take a look at some interesting stats provided by Opta Jeev involving the two teams.

  1. ATK Mohun Bagan have scored in 10 straight Indian Super League games, the longest such streak in franchise history; it is also the longest active scoring streak in the ISL.
  2. FC Goa have lost just three of their last 22 Indian Super League games (W7 D12), however those three losses came at a streak in their first three games of this season.
  3. Juan Ferrando remains winless in this particular fixture. He has lost once and has drawn the other.
  4. Based on the “Opta’s Expected Goals” model, ATK Mohun Bagan’s Liston Colaco is the Indian player with the best difference between expected goals (+1.75) and actual goals scored (four) in the current Indian Super League campaign after the end of MD8 (+2.25).
  5. FC Goa’s Airam Cabrera has the best minutes per goal ratio in the tournament (99). He has played 198 minutes this season and has bagged two goals.
  6. With Edu Bedia playing in a deeper role, Noguera has been tasked to find chinks in the opposition backline. He is doing a fine job in that role and has a passing accuracy of 84 per cent (201/240 passes completed) in the opposition half.