Indian Super League Preview: Lopez ban presents test for Atletico

25 October 2014 21:13

Unbeaten Atletico de Kolkata look set to be without coach Antonio Lopez when they host Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League on Sunday.

The Spaniard was involved in an altercation with FC Goa midfielder Robert Pires during the half-time break in their clash on Thursday, which Atletico ultimately went on to win 2-1.

Goa claimed that Lopez attacked Pires as tempers flared in the tunnel and the former Valencia coach was subsequently given a four-match suspension, while the Frenchman has been banned for two, subject to appeal.

Atletico sit top of the table after four games, but it remains to be seen what effect the absence of Lopez will have if he is unable to take his place on the touchline.

Goa are also in action on Sunday as they aim to claim their first victory of the campaign at Pune City.

Coach Zico is set to be without the services of Pires, increasing the pressure on the likes of Ranty Martins as they look to add to their current tally of just one point.

Pune are expected to provide stern opposition, with David Trezeguet, Adrian Mutu and Konstantinos Katsouranis among their foreign contingent.

Chennaiyin will be hoping to bounce back from Saturday’s heavy 4-1 defeat at Delhi Dynamos when they host Peter Reid’s Mumbai City on Tuesday.

Marco Materazzi’s side had gone into the match in confident mood after winning both of the previous fixtures and they will need to be alert to the dangers posed by Andre Moritz if they are to get back to winning ways, with the Brazilian leading the goalscoring charts after finding the back of the net three times.

Chennaiyin’s weekend conquerors, the Delhi Dynamos, are next in action on Wednesday when they host NorthEast United, with victory enough to take them above their visitors and on to eight points.

United go into the contest on the back of a morale-boosting 2-0 win at Mumbai, though, and they have their sights set on keeping the pressure on pacesetters Atletico.