Preview: Having got back to their winning ways after two consecutive reversals, Bengaluru FC would eye pole position in the points table when they take on defending champions ATK in an Indian Super League (ISL) clash at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Sunday.
Chennaiyin FC and newbies Jamshedpur FC rocked Bengaluru's citadel last month winning 2-1 and 1-0 respectively before the Blues steadied their ship in Kochi with a 3-1 verdict over Kerala Blasters riding Venezuelan Miku's second-half brace and Sunil Chhetri's opener from the spot.
Not only did they end 2017 on a high, the Albert Roca-coached side jumped to the third spot with the much-needed victory.
The hosts are placed third in the standings with 15 points from five wins in eight games, while ATK are seventh with nine points following two wins.
Against ATK, they would want to take forward the confidence look to the likes of Miku and Chhetri to deliver the goods once again.
Coach Roca has been particularly impressed with Miku, who is the second-highest scorer in the competition now with eight goals to his name.
"Miku is a top player and he has shown that all season," Roca had said after their win over Kerala on 31 December.
"I hope he will be like this till the end. Today he did his job very well. He is a guy who is not just scoring. He keeps the ball well. He is just the striker we need, and am very happy with his performance tonight," the 51-year old Spaniard had added.
In ATK, Bengaluru could find an opponent who are not in the best of shape. After stitching a couple of wins on the bounce, the Teddy Sheringham-coached outfit stumbled at home against FC Goa who braved unprecedented circumstances to hold the twice champions 1-1.
ATK had registered wins over Mumbai City FC and Delhi Dynamos away and home respectively before a much-delayed kickoff due to "unavoidable" circumstances at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata saw them throw away an early lead to share the spoils.
The tie which started very late on Wednesday and ended in the wee hours of Thursday saw star Irish forward Robbie Keane net in the fourth minute before Ferran Corominas restored parity.
Goa arrived at the venue almost an hour before kickoff and landed in the city that night itself in unforeseen circumstances. But braving fatigue, the Gaurs stole a point leaving Sheringham and co. high and dry.
On top of that, Keane has been recently linked to a move back to boyhood club Wolverhampton Wanderers who want their former player to join them in their English Premier League party.
The Championship side are looking good to seal a promotion since 2012 and from what reports suggest Keane wants to go back as well.
ATK are placed seventh with just nine points to show for from seven outings.
With inputs from IANS
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Updated Date: Jan 07, 2018 21:59:18 IST