Atletico de Kolkata might just become the first team to make it to the semi final of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2015 if they manage to edge past FC Pune City on Friday.
The defending champions will be facing The Stallions at the Saltlake Stadium on Friday in match No. 48 of the ISL 2015 and this is going to be a cracker of an encounter. Last time these two sides met, Pune won by a goal to nil and it was a close contest.
The visitors will have to win all their remaining games to ensure a place in the final four. The way FC Pune City started off in this tournament, one would definitely feel for them if they do not make it to the semi finals of the ISL 2015.
FC Pune City head coach David Platt was present at the stadium when Atletico de Kolkata demolished FC Goa last Sunday at the same venue. Post that show, Platt will be wary of the force to reckon with and he surely will be chalking out plans to stop this run of form of Atletico de Kolkata.
Things are going to be even more difficult for the men in purple and orange stripes on Friday. If 50,000 plus fans act as the 12th man from the stands the pressure mounts automatically on the visiting team and the home team gets pumped up. Therefore, Platt and his boys cannot afford to make slightest of mistakes on Friday or else the Atletico de Kolkata boys will be up for a dream home run by registering yet another victory at their own backyard.
But in order to win games, you need players to step up to the ocassion and pull their respective team up.
Let us have a look at some of the players who can make a difference tonight on the pitch:
Atletico de Kolkata:
Sameehg Doutie: The South African pocket-sized-dynamite has already drawn the eyeballs of all the coaches of the opponent teams. He has been outstanding on the flanks and has won Atletico de Kolkata a couple of games. Doutie has also won consecutive hero of the match awards for his performances. Platt will be wary of this little man with brilliant feet. The defenders of FC Pune City will have to be on their toes to stop this player in the Atletico de Kolkata outfit.
Amrinder Singh: This goalkeeper has made some brilliant saves in this tournament and has been one of the reasons behind Atletico de Kolkata's success. He might not have added many clean sheets to his name in the ISL 2015 but the saves he has made were important. He will be guarding the goal on Friday as well and will be looking forward to achieve a clean sheet against the Stallions.
FC Pune City:
Tuncay Sanli: The former Turkish international has been one of the best players in that side in ISL 2015. He has this knack of scoring goals at crucial moments in the match. Atletico de Kolkata have had a number of defensive lapses in the last couple of matches. At this stage of the tournament, they cannot afford slip ups. Thus, they will have to be aware of Sanli on Friday.
Eugeneson Lyngdoh: The Indian midfielder is almost like a guardian in the center of the field. He has so much control over the ball and his through balls are equally dangerous. He also has scored goals for his side when required and he will be looking to do the same on Friday against the defending champions who are eyeing a semi final berth in ISL 2015.