Indian Super League (ISL) action is set for kickoff as the season begins on October 29 with two-time champions ATK taking on Kerala Blasters FC in Kolkata.
We take a look at the squad that has been assembled by the Season 1 and 3 champions ATK (formerly known as Atlletico De Kolkata). ATK are coming into the fifth season of the ISL after a disappointing run last time around when they finished ninth in the league stage after winning the title in the third season.
ATK Squad for ISL Season 5
Goalkeepers: Debjit Majumder, Arindam Bhattacharya, Avilash Paul
Defenders: Aiborlang Khongjee, Gerson Vieira, John Johnson, Arnab Mondal, Ricky Lallawmawma, Sena Ralte, André Bikey, Prabir Das
Midfielders: Hitesh Sharma, Pronay Halder, Sheikh Faiaz, Malsawmzuala, Yumnam Singh, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Komal Thatal, Manuel Lanzarote, Cavin Lobo, Noussair El Maimouni
Strikers: Kalu Uche, Balwant Singh, Everton Santos, Jayesh Rane
New coach Steve Coppell takes charge of the ATK side after a considerably good debut season with the debutantes Jamshedpur FC. ATK’s command was constantly fluctuating last season as the trio of Teddy Sheringham, Ashley Westwood and Robbie Keane were in charge during the course of the season. This year, the management has gone for a major overhaul after the dismal showing by the squad in the league.
Steve Coppell has proved himself over the seasons in the ISL as he led the Kerala Blasters to a runner-up finish in 2016 and Jamshedpur FC came close to qualifying for the playoffs last season. Coppell has a very pragmatic approach to the game which could prove to be enough to lift the ATK side back into title contention.
The Kolkata-based franchise has added several big names to their squad this season, both Indian as well as International. Six out of their seven foreign signings come with the credence of having played in the ISL. Among the most notable foreign signings are former Bengaluru FC central defender John Johnson, Delhi Dynamos striker Kalu Uche, and FC Goa midfielder Manuel Lanzarote, who proved to be one of the best playmakers in the league last season. In addition to this, they have signed two Mumbai City FC players in the form of Everton Santos and Gerson Vieira who were both mainstays of the Islanders’ squad. Coppell has brought over the hulking Andrey Bikey from Jamshedpur FC who will form the crux of the ATK defence.
ATK have spent big on the Indian contingent as well with players such as Balwant Singh, Pronay Halder, Cavin Lobo and Arnab Mondal have come on board to bolster ATK’s squad.
SportzDose Prediction for ATK
With the changes brought in place by the ATK management, they could well be on course for a playoffs qualification and could possibly challenge for the ISL 2018-19 title if all goes well for Coppell’s men.