Match 17 Preview: FC Goa eye their first points of the season against NorthEast United

NorthEast United FC go up against FC Goa on matchday 17 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season at the Pandit Jawaharlal Stadium in Fatorda, Goa.

NorthEast United FC have struggled in their first three games of the season, unable to get the desired result and remain winless this season. The Guwahati-based side have been out of form and are lacking the attacking threat to score goals.

On the other hand, FC Goa are bottom of the table with zero points, being the only team to not register a single point in the new season. The Gaurs haven’t been at their best tactically and are missing the chemistry in their team this season.

Form Guide

NorthEast United FC

The Highlanders started off the season with a loss against Bengaluru FC, a game where they were threatening offensively but struggled defensively. Their second fixture turned out to be a goalless draw against Kerala Blasters where the side offered minimal attacking threat, failing to have a single shot on target. The third match was another loss against Chennaiyin FC, a close encounter with the latter being the dominant side.

FC Goa

The Gaurs lost 3-0 in their opening game of the season against rivals Mumbai City FC, and followed it up with a 3-1 loss against Jamshedpur FC. In both the games, FC Goa dominated possession, yet couldn’t turn out to be on the winning side due to their sloppy attack.

Key Players

NorthEast United FC

Khassa Camara: The 29-year-old midfielder has been the pick of the NorthEast United midfielders. Camara is a powerhouse across both ends of the pitch, directing and controlling the style of play as well as recovering the ball in tight areas of the pitch.

Mathias Coureur: NorthEast United’s new signing is a player to keep an eye on. The 33-year-old is an aerial threat for defenders and will be on a goalscoring exploit given his dribbling, pace, and versatility to play across several attacking positions.

FC Goa

Edu Bedia: FC Goa’s skipper has been pivotal in the midfield and has a crisp passing accuracy. Known to break down the opposition’s attack, Bedia also provides line-breaking passes into the final third. He is undoubtedly FC Goa’s most valuable asset.

Jorge Ortiz: The Spanish forward is keen on creating chances for his team, something which will be of utmost significance for the Gaurs. With an assist in his first game, Ortiz is bound to have an impact on this team.

Key Stats

Finishing: A matter of concern for FC Goa

The Gaurs have created seven chances per game till now, but the issue arises with the finishing. A department where FC Goa never faced any issues as such but are finding it hard to convert their chances this season. The two-time finalists have the lowest shot accuracy (19.04%) in the league, and coach Juan Ferrando needs to buckle up his team to challenge for the honours.

NorthEast United FC’s defensive drawbacks

Khalid Jamil’s men have conceded six goals from open play, the most by any team in this season. The Highlanders have not had the same back four in any of the three games. The back four in all their three games have been different. A defined back four is essentially important for a cohesive defending unit and this is something Khalid Jamil needs to look at if the club has to be title contenders.

Head-to-Head Record

The draws take the better of both sides, with seven of their battles ending in a stalemate. FC Goa have the better of NorthEast United FC with five wins whereas the Highlanders have won just twice. Remarkably, NorthEast United FC haven’t beaten FC Goa over the last three seasons.

Match Timings and Telecast Details

Match: NorthEast United FC vs FC Goa

Date: 04 December 2021

Venue: Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, Goa

Time: 7:30pm

Telecast: Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 3, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 Hindi HD, Star Sports 1 regional channels - Tamil, Bengali, Kannada, Telugu

Online Streaming: Disney+Hotstar, and JioTV

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