Match 93 Preview: NorthEast look to maintain pressure on FC Goa and Hyderabad FC with win against Odisha FC
NorthEast United FC will be hoping to keep the pressure on third and fourth-placed teams in the 2020-21 Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) standings when they face Odisha FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Sunday. The Highlanders are very much in the reckoning for a semi-final spot but need to continue winning to keep the pressure on FC Goa and Hyderabad FC.
NorthEast are unbeaten in their last six games and will be confident about getting the better of Odisha despite drawing their last two games. They’ve beaten the likes of ATK Mohun Bagan and Mumbai City FC during their run of six unbeaten games and have been in inspired form ever since Khalid Jamil became their interim head coach.
Federico Gallego has been instrumental to their resurgence following an underwhelming first half of the campaign. The Uruguayan playmaker was the Hero of the Month in January after several fine displays that catapulted the Highlanders into the semis reckoning.
He’s provided four assists and scored four goals so far and will want to make the difference again following a quiet outing last time around. Another NorthEast player who will need extra attention from Odisha is Deshorn Brown, who has showcased fine form since joining the Highlanders from Bengaluru FC in January and has netted for them thrice besides also providing an assist.
"They have done very well in the last game against Kerala Blasters (2-2 draw). We have to go in the match with the right mentality and give our best to win the game. We go there with a very serious attitude to show that we are hungry to win. That's our only objective. The main thing is that we don't concentrate on other teams' games but on our own performance. We should try our best to get the three points," said NorthEast United's assistant coach Alison Kharsyntiew ahead of the game.
Bottom-dwellers Odisha, on the other hand, don’t have much to play for but pride. They will be targeting a strong end to their disappointing campaign and will back themselves to get something from the match against NorthEast having drawn with them earlier in the season.
Odisha will also be hoping that their top-scorer in the ongoing campaign Diego Mauricio can score against the Highlanders having netted against them in the reverse fixture. Not to forget, he scored a brace against Kerala Blasters in Odisha’s last game too.
"Since he (Jamil) has come in as the new manager, I think he's done a great job. They've had good results and a good run of games. We know that it's going to be a very difficult game. We're going to make it difficult for them because we have nothing to lose. We got belief [as] we scored two fantastic goals against the Blasters. Some of our combination play was very good and we're going there in a very positive mind. So, the objective is to play fresh players and go there with the confidence and momentum to win the game," said Gerald Peyton, Odisha FC's interim head coach.
NorthEast United FC
Goalkeepers: Gurmeet, Nikhil Deka, Sanjiban Ghosh, Subhasish Roy
Defenders: Ashutosh Mehta, Benjamin Lambot, Dylan Fox, Gurjinder Kumar, Mashoor Shereef, Nabin Rabha, Nim Dorjee, Provat Lakra, Wayne Vaz
Midfielders: Federico Gallego, Imran Khan, Khassa Camara, Lalengmawia, Lalrempuia Fanai, Pragyan Gogoi, Rochharzela
Forwards: Britto PM, Idrissa Sylla, Ninthoinganba Meetei, Deshorn Brown, Lalkhawpuimawia, Luis Machado, Suhair Vadakkepeedika
Goalkeepers: Arshdeep Singh, Kamaljit Singh, Ravi Kumar, Ankit Bhuyan
Defenders: Steven Taylor, Saurabh Meher, Gaurav Bora, Kamalpreet Singh, Mohd Sajid Dhot, George D’Souza, Shubham Sarangi, Jacob, Hendry Antonay, Rakesh Pradhan
Midfielders: Baoringdao Bodo, Cole Alexander, Isak Vanlalruatfela, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, S Lalhrezuala, Nandhakumar Sekar, Paul Ramfangzauva, Samuel Lalmuanpuia, Vinit Rai, Thoiba Singh, Bradden Inman
Forwards: Diego Mauricio, Manuel Onwu, Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Laishram Singh
Live Broadcast Schedule:
Hero ISL 2020-21 Match 93: NorthEast United FC vs Odisha FC
Date: February 14 (Sunday)
Time: 5:00 PM onwards
Channels: Star Sports Network
Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV