The AFC Cup fixtures for Group D start with Indian Super League sides, Bengaluru FC and ATK Mohun Bagan locking horns against each other. The Blues recently sneaked into the group after they won the playoffs against Club Eagles.
The match would have handed the Blues some confidence going into the AFC Cup curtain raiser. There are several fresh faces for both the teams and it will be interesting to see them in action after so many months since the last season.
Speaking ahead of the match Bengaluru FC head coach Marco Pezzaiuoli complained about the less recovery time for his players. But he also revealed how the spirits are really high after their win over the Eagles. He said, “The last game was only two days ago, so it was a short recovery. It’s not really an advantage. But I can see the glass half empty or half full, and I choose to see it half full.”
“We had a nice spirit in the team after the win, which gives us energy and we are proud and happy to be in the group stage. We play against an Indian team. We lost the last two games against ATK Mohun Bagan; 1-0 and 2-0. But this is a new season for us,” he added.
The Italian tactician explained ATKMB’s style of play as he also downplayed his team ahead of this titanic clash. “We have new players, a new coach, a team and a new spirit. We have prepared well, but I think ATKMB is the favourite here. They invested a lot of money to win the trophy, they were in the final last year,” the tactician expressed.
“ATK Mohun Bagan play a lot of long balls, they like to go for the second ball and press high up on the pitch. We’re going to try and find a solution so that we can win the game.”
Lastly, Pezzaiuoli also highlighted how the Mariners have invested heavily in the transfer market by roping in players like Hugo Boumous, Amrinder Singh and many others.
“They don’t make these transfers to lose games, they want to win the league and the AFC Cup. And that’s why they invest a lot of money. But we’ve also prepared well. With a good spirit and focus, we have a good chance to beat ATK Mohun Bagan tomorrow,” he concluded.