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FC Goa host rivals ATK

Fatorda: In a bid to seal their knockout spot, FC Goa will aim for maximum points when they take on their bitter rivals and former champions ATK in the Indian Super League match to be played at Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, on Thursday.

FC Goa had a flying start to the season before they suffered their first defeat at the hands of Jamshedpur FC.

The Goan side then witnessed a slump in form to slid to the fifth place before recovering well to remain at the third spot at the end of the long winter break.

The long winter break has helped FC Goa as they won against Mumbai FC and drew goalless against Jamshedpur and Delhi Dynamo to remain on third place with 25 points from 14 matches, one match less than other teams who are fighting for a place in play-offs. Ferran Corominas, who has scored highest goals in the ISL and is in the race for golden boot, failed to score in the last two matches and his sudden dip in form is a cause of concern for the hosts.

A lot will depend on playmaker Edu Bedia, Hugo Boumous and Ahmed Johouh and the trio will have to be more creative to find space for Corominas to score goals.

In the defence, Mourtada Fall and Carles Pena have paired up well and didn’t concede a single goal in the last three matches.

Mandar Rao Dessai offers agility and energy in his new role at left back and Seriton Fernandes has been doing his job well at the other side of the field as well.

FC Goa coach Sergio Lobera expects a tough contest in Thursday’s game. [H]

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