Match 32 Preview: Wounded NorthEast United FC take on winless SC East Bengal

NorthEast United FC face SC East Bengal in their next hurdle of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season in Match 32 on Friday at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Goa.

Both the sides haven’t been at their best this season and will be in great need of the three points to have a turn around.

NorthEast United FC approach this fixture with a defeat against Hyderabad FC in the last game whereas SC East Bengal had to settle for a draw against Kerala Blasters FC.

Form Guide

NorthEast United FC
Khalid Jamil’s men had a bleak start to the 2021-22 campaign, currently sitting tenth in the league table with four points alongside having the lowest goal difference. Out of six matches, the Highlanders have won one, drawn one, and lost four.

SC East Bengal
The Kolkata-based side had an unexpected start to their season as they sit last in the league table with three points, being the only team to not win a single game in this season. With three draws and three losses out of six games, Manuel Marquez’s men have conceded the most goals in this season so far. 

Head to Head

The two teams have met each other on two previous occasions with NorthEast United FC coming out on top twice.

Team News

The Highlanders will be without their key forward Deshorn Brown who is ruled out due to a hamstring injury, midfielder Khassa Camara who is struck with a minor injury, and Hernan Santana who stands doubtful for Friday’s game.

In the SC East Bengal camp, Jackichand Singh is still ruled out of action whereas goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharja has started training with the team and might start tomorrow, with Darren Sidoel recovering with the medical team.

Key Stats

SC East Bengal’s fate with the three points
The Red and Gold Brigade have conceded seven points from winning positions, the most by any team in the league. They have taken the lead in three games this season and have managed to return without a win on all three occasions.

Tryst with the first half
SC East Bengal have conceded the most number of goals in the first half of the matches (11) in this season so far whereas NorthEast United FC have scored four of their six goals in the first halves of their matches in this season.

Key Players

NorthEast United FC 

Suhair VP: The forward will be crucial for his side to break down SC East Bengal’s defence with his ability to play out far wide and deliver crosses inside the box. The 29-year-old has 100 touches in the final third, the highest among NorthEast United players. He has also completed more passes in the final third than any other NorthEast United player (32).

Hernan Santana: The 31-year-old midfielder is great at holding the ball and has the ability to create goalscoring chances from his pinpoint crosses. Santana has made 20 tackles, 20 interceptions, eight clearances, and 10 blocks, with a passing accuracy of 80% in four matches. An influential player in the Highlanders side.

SC East Bengal

Tomislav Mrcela: Mrcela is the heart of the SC East Bengal defence, making 29 clearances, seven tackles, and four interceptions besides netting a goal out of six games.

Antonio Perisevic: SC East Bengal’s no.7 will be hungry for goals after having three goal contributions in six games. The Croatian forward has taken 19 shots, most in the league, and will want to convert one against NorthEast United FC.

Match Timings and Telecast Details

Match: NorthEast United FC vs SC East Bengal

Date: 17th December 2021

Venue: Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, Goa

Kick-off time: 7.30 pm

Telecast: Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 3, Hindi Commentary on 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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