Talking Point: Can out-of-sorts Roy Krishna find his form against the Highlanders?

NorthEast United FC take on ATK Mohun Bagan looking for an upset win in Match 72 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 at the Fatorda Stadium on Tuesday. The Highlanders were beaten 2-0 when the two sides met the last time earlier this month but since then a lot has changed at the club. NorthEast United have parted ways with Gerard Nus and with interim head coach Khalid Jamil at the helm, the club ended their winless run of seven matches with a victory over Jamshedpur FC in their last game. For the Mariners, David Williams scored the winner that sealed the three points against Chennaiyin FC in their last match. Here ahead of the game, we discuss a few talking points that could play a big role in deciding the outcome.

Roy Krishna needs to find his form for the Mariners

After scoring the opening goal for ATK Mohun Bagan when they kicked off the new year with a win against the same opponents, Roy Krishna has failed to find the back of the net in their last three matches. Krishna has scored in five of the Mariners’ seven wins so far and that tells how important his form is to the team. He has scored six goals for his team this season and is one of the contenders for the Golden Boot. Head coach Antonio Lopez Habas will hope the Fijian is back to scoring goals on Tuesday.

Deshorn Brown signing a good move

NorthEast United were dealt a major blow when their Ghanaian striker Kwesi Appiah was ruled out for the remainder of Hero ISL 2020-21 earlier this month on account of injury. The club were quick to bring in Deshorn Brown from Bengaluru FC, and the Jamaican striker hit the road running in his first game with the Highlanders, scoring the important second goal which turned out to be the winner against Jamshedpur. Khalid Jamil will hope that Brown continues in the same vein. This is very important for them considering that the other important striker in the team, Idrissa Sylla, has found the net only twice in 11 games for NorthEast United.

Can NorthEast United continue their improvement?

Following the departure of Nus, the Highlanders played Jamshedpur FC and showed a massive improvement in their performance with a 2-1 victory over Owen Coyle’s team. NorthEast United managed to dominate possession (53%) in contrast to Nus’ tactics which involved more counter-attacking football. They also had 11 shots as compared to seven from Jamshedpur, and Jamil will hope that they can continue this possession-based style against ATK Mohun Bagan, a side known for counter-attacks. In a warning note, ATK Mohun Bagan will do well to remember that NorthEast have already beaten a strong team like Mumbai City FC this season and that they can’t be taken lightly.

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