The much anticipated second round of clash is finally here where Northeast United FC faces Kerala Blasters FC in Fatorda Stadium, tomorrow at 7:30 PM. Both teams tasted defeat in their introductory match of this season in a similar 4-2 margin which the fans claimed to be a déjà vu effect. To regain momentum in the league, both teams will be looking forward to collecting maximum points in this northern x southern battle.
NorthEast United FC (NEUFC) fought an intense match against Bengaluru FC in their first match where they went down to a 4-2 loss. Their All-Indian defense unit had troubles adjusting to the match and also an own goal from Mashoor Shereef led to a downfall of team morale.
Meanwhile, Kerala Blasters FC (KBFC) went down to ATK Mohunbagan FC in a similar 4-2 margin in the opening match. Star signing Hugo Boumus proved deadly for the Yellow Army as the midfielder started his goal hunt as early as the 3rd minute in the game.
Yellow Army’s star winger Rahul K.P will be out for an extended 5-6 weeks subject to an initial tear in the groin muscle. The winger had to be subbed off just a few minutes after his goal contribution to Sahal Abdul Samad. The club has confirmed that the player has exited the bio-bubble to travel to Mumbai for further investigations.
Good news for highlanders as their midfield maestro Federico Gallego has started training with the team. There is some chance for him to come on as a substitute in today’s clash.
3 Indian Players to look out for
Sahal Abdul Samad
The talented Malayalee midfielder Sahal Abdul Samad has put on his goal-scoring boots with a classic goal against ATKMB in the opening clash. Sahal played on the flank in the previous match and his presence was quite eminent on the pitch for the Yellow Army. In several situations, he played in perfect sync with the Uruguayan midfielder Adrian Luna. If the combo works in future matches, KBFC could boast expect some brilliant goals from this duo.
The young Malayalee defender Bijoy Varghese had a bittersweet start in his debut match in the Indian Super League. The center-back came in as a surprise starter in the lineup clearing off the names of other ISL experienced defenders in the team. Although the team faced a devastating result, the work rate from Bejoy impressed the majority of fans.
The stellar Suhair has put in an impressive performance for the Highlanders in the first match. The forward proved deadly in the opposition box where he created 2 chances and provided a brilliant assist. The 29-year-old forward has also aided his team in the defensive part as he pulled off 6 neat tackles in the game.
3 Foreign Players to look out for
Deshorn Brown came in as a midseason signing for NEUFC from Bengaluru FC in the prior season. The Jamaican proved his transfer worth by scoring 5 goals and an assist. His role was crucial in the last season and helped the team to seal a spot in the semifinals for the Highlanders. The Jamaican poacher started from where he left off last season with a beautiful goal to his name in the opening match that too against his former club. If he continues this form, the fans could already start dreaming for playoffs.
The 33-year-old French striker Mathias Coureur is the newest addition in the forward line for NEUFC. Mathias is an advanced striker by role and could prove to be deadly if left unmarked in the box. The striker has already showcased his goal-scoring abilities with a goal in his debutant match.
Jorge Pereyra Díaz
Coming in a loan move from Argentina’s top division, Jorge Pereyra Díaz has already established himself with a goal in his debut for the yellow army. Jorge mainly plays as a secondary striker and he came in as a replacement for Jordan Murray this season. The fans can expect Jorge to form a good partnership with Alvaro Vasquez upfront this year.
NorthEast United FC faced Kerala Blasters FC on 14 different occasions where NEUFC won four matches and KBFC won five. Five matches ended in a draw for both teams. KBFC leads the fixture with 5 wins against NEUFC.
Both the teams have an equal chance in the game. KBFC looks stronger on paper with their new foreign additions meanwhile NEUFC boasts for maintaining the majority of their core team from the previous season. We expect the match to conclude in a 2-2 draw for both teams.
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