Indian Super League champions Atletico de Kolkata have to score at least three goals and prevent Chennaiyin FC from scoring any on Wednesday in front of their home fans, in an effort to make it to their second ISL final in two years.
The Kolkata franchise are under immense pressure to perform in the ISL 2015 semifinal second leg clash against the Chennai side at the Salt Lake Stadium in the City of Joy. They trail 3-0 after the first leg.
Either Chennaiyin FC or Atletico de Kolkata will take on FC Goa in the ISL 2015 final on Sunday.
Antonio Habas has possibly seen it all in the ISL over the two years, but overturning a 3-0 deficit is something he hasn't done before. The hosts have a lot to worry about as star midfielder Borja Fernandez is unavailable for today's game, after the Spaniard picked up a hamstring knock in the first leg, and had to be substituted.
For Chennaiyin FC, the return of marquee player Elano Blumer and no-nonsense Indian defender Mehrajuddin Wadoo will come as a major boost. Both return after their suspensions.
Marco Materazzi started with the attacking trio of Stiven Mendoza, Jeje Lalpekhlua, and Bruno Pelissari in the last game, and the terrific trio got the better of ATK center-backs Arnab Mondal and Tiri, right from the start to the very end. The work is cut out for Habas to use his tactics and experience in the best possible way to somehow stop the resurgent Chennaiyin FC attack.
The unavailability of utility player Ofentse Nato is another major worry for the home side. Nevertheless, Habas has always remained positive. He knows that the odds are stacked against his side, but there's no point in backing down. "It's not going to be a problem. No excuses," the Spaniard said on the unavailability of Borja and Nato for the game.
"We have 26 players in the squad and we have to play with what we have," he added. Habas also urged the ATK fans to come out in plenty of support for the team today, as the backing is needed "more than ever" now. "The fans are very important. We need all the support of the fans. And we need it more than ever."
Materazzi, on his part, wants to stick to his game plan as usual, and is keen on deciding his tactics after observing the way ATK start their play. "I think it will be Kolkata that will have to propose something new. We will do what we have to do and adapt to the situation," the Chennaiyin FC manager said.
Where to watch the game
The ISL semi final second leg tie between between Atletico de Kolkata and Chennaiyin FC is scheduled to kick-off on Wednesday, 16 December, at 7 pm IST (2:30 pm BST, 9:30 am ET).
Viewers in India can catch the game on Star Sports 2, Star Sports HD2, Star Sports 3,Star Sports HD3, Star Utsav, Star Gold (both Hindi), Asianet Movies (Malayalam), Jaya Max (Tamil), Suvarna TV (Kannada) and Jalsha Movies (Bengali). The live streaming is available on Starsports.com and Hotstar.
Viewers in the UK, South East Asia, Singapore, and Hong Kong can catch the game onStar Gold.
Viewers in Canada can watch the game on CBN and ATN.
Eurosport remains the destination for the viewers in Europe. The live streaming is available on Eurosport Player.
Audience in the Middle East and North Africa can also catch the ISL game on OSN, with live streaming option on OSN Play.