The AIFF disciplinary committee reduced the ban on Habas to two matches for lack of evidence so the Spaniard marquee manager will return to the turf tomorrow along with the Ethiopian forward, much to the home team's delight.

In absence of the duo, ATK dropped four possible points, two at home and two away, as Fikru's spirited raids and Habas' strategy from the sidelines were sorely missed.

ATK were on the verge a fine win in Chennai from Luis Garcia's spot kick as they led till the regulation 90 minutes but an unnecessary tackle by Kingshuk Debnath inside the Chennai box robbed them three points.

ATK also received a big jolt after their inspirational midfielder Jofre Mateu, who had put on an effective combination with Garcia, was sent off after being shown a second yellow, something that could have been avoided if the Spaniard was replaced following his first caution.

Habas' absence also meant that ATK's short and effective passing was missed as the team would look forward to their first win at the Yuva Bharati Krirangan since their 2-0 victory over Mumbai City FC in the tournament opener on October 12.

With just two points clear of Chennaiyin FC and having played an extra match, ATK's position atop the table is clearly under threat and they will be keen for three points at home.

But the fact that they have managed to remain unbeaten after six matches will be a big morale booster and Fikru's return along with Garcia, who fully recovered from a hamstring injury, will be key to their success on Friday.

"As far as the injury is concerned, it's not a factor anymore and I do feel alright. I will get better in the coming
matches," Garcia had said.

"I would say we did well to return with a point from a tough match on a difficult pitch."

Garcia would definitely miss Jofre and it would be interesting to see whom Habas bring on in the midfield.

ATK's defensive quartet of Biswajit Saha, Arnab Mondal, Jose Miguel and Kingshuk Debnath have been compact so far and with Pune coming here without French World Cup winner and their star forward David Trezeguet, the home team would look to vie for possession against the likes of Nigerian Dudu Omagbemi and Dutchman John Goossens.

The Dutchman came on as a 58th minute substitute to score the winner in the 88th minute with a headed goal to lift Pune off the bottom of the table.

Pune has now climbed to the fifth spot in the standings with seven points from five games. Their two wins came in their last three outings and Dudu will look to use his vast experience on the artificial turf to maintain his side's

It's a bold move by manager Franco Colomba to travel here without Trezeguest as the team did not want to risk playing him on a hard artificial surface.

Trezeguet has scored twice to help the side won six points from a possible nine at home but his absence would mean the Pune outfit would have to depend a lot on East Bengal recruit Dudu, who has 99 goals in Indian football.

FC Pune City also have striking options in Israel Gurung and the Dutchman Goossens and it would be interesting to see how they combine against the home outfit, who have been ruthless with their approach so far.

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