Match 64 Preview: NorthEast United, Odisha FC eye morale-boosting victory

NorthEast United FC take on Odisha FC in matchday 64 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season on Tuesday at the PJN Stadium in Margao, Goa.

The Highlanders will be eager to register their first win in 2022. The Guwahati-based side drew 1-1 in their last match against FC Goa.

Odisha FC, on the other hand, fell short against Kerala Blasters FC in a 0-2 defeat in their last game.

While Odisha FC won the reverse fixture 1-0 back in December, both teams haven’t been at their best and bagging the three points is the only way forward for the two.

Odisha FC sacked head coach Kiko Ramirez after a poor run of form and Kino Sanchez has taken over as the interim head coach.

Form Guide

NorthEast United FC: WLDLD

Khalid Jamil’s men sit tenth in the league standings with nine points in eleven games, a position similar to the one they were in last season. While the chase for the top four is an intense one, the Highlanders need to pick up points to get into the mix.

Odisha FC: LDLWL

Sitting four points above their opponents, Odisha FC are ninth in the league table after collecting 13 points with four wins, one draw, and five losses, but the Bhubaneswar-based side have played a game less.

Head-To-Head

Both Odisha FC and NorthEast United have two wins apiece in 5 games between the two sides in the past. The Juggernauts won 1-0 in Match 24 when the two sides met earlier this season with Jonathas scoring an 81st minute goal.

Key Players

NorthEast United FC

Marcelinho: NorthEast United FC’s new signing Marcelinho will bring ample experience to the side and has the ability to turn around the season for them. The Brazilian forward has 33 goals and 18 assists in the Hero ISL history, with 51 goal contributions in the league, Marcelinho is tied for the third spot along with Roy Krishna and Hugo Boumous for the most goal contributions in Hero ISL history. He is one of the six players with more than 50 goal contributions in the Hero ISL.

Imran Khan: The midfielder has stepped up in the absence of Federico Gallego as the Highlanders’ creative outlet this season. He has three assists to his name this season. Among Indian players, only Roshan Singh (5) has more assists than Imran Khan. No NorthEast United player has more assists this season than Imran Khan (3).

Odisha FC

Kamaljit Singh: The 26-year-old has made the most saves made by any single goalkeeper in the league this season. Singh has made an astonishing 26 saves in nine games, while also keeping a clean sheet.

Aridai Suarez: The 33-year-old Spaniard has registered four goals in nine games and has emerged as Odisha FC's greatest goal threat. Suarez has taken more shots on target than any other player in the team (11).

Key Stats

Tryst with the first half

Odisha FC and NorthEast United are the two teams with the most goals conceded in Hero ISL 21-22 with 24 and 23, respectively. These two teams are the only two teams to concede 10 or more goals in both halves of games this season. Odisha FC’s record of 14 goals conceded in the first half of games is the worst record in the division. NorthEast United are not far behind with 12 goals conceded in the first half of games this season.

Match Timings and Telecast Details

Match: NorthEast United FC vs Odisha FC

Date: 18th January 2022

Venue: PJN Stadium, Margao, Goa

Kick-off time: 7.30 pm

Telecast: Star Sports Network

Online Streaming: Disney+Hotstar and JioTV

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