ATK Open Campaign Against Holders Chennaiyin FC

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Kolkata: Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) will launch their campaign in the third edition of Indian Super League (ISL) with a home fixture against defending champions Chennaiyin FC on October 2.

With the Salt Lake Stadium under renovation for next year’s under-17 World Cup in India, ATK will have a new venue at the newly refurbished Rabindra Sarobar Stadium.  The ISL fixtures were officially announced on Friday. Guwahati’s Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium will host the opening match of the ISL season three, pitting hosts North-East United FC against Kerala Blasters on October 1.

Like Atletico de Kolkata, Mumbai City FC will also have a new home at the Andheri Sports Complex, instead of the DY Patil Stadium at Navi Mumbai. According to the fixtures, ATK will play their second match, against Kerala Blasters away in Kochi on October 5. ATK, who won the inaugural edition of the tournament, won’t be able to host any matches from October 3 to October 15 because of the state’s biggest festival, Durga Puja.  Their next home fixture is against last year’s finalists FC Goa on October 16.

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ATK’s other home fixtures are: Vs Delhi Dynamos (October 22), Mumbai City FC (October 25), North-East United FC (November 17), Kerala Blasters (November 29) and FC Pune City (December 2).  Indian players of ATK are scheduled to leave on September 8 for Madrid to have a fortnight-long training at team co-owners Atletico Madrid’s facility in the Spanish capital.

The foreign players will also assemble there for the camp, to be done under the supervision of new coach Jose Molina.  Among the foreigners, ATK have strengthened their squad by roping in Spanish forward Juan Belencoso while the likes of Helder Postiga (marquee), Iain Hume, Sameegh Doutie, Ofentse Nato and Tiri have been retained.