Friday, September 15, 2023

Hero ISL 2020-21: Northeast United FC looking to extend their unbeaten run against Jamshedpur FC in the 500th league fixture

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The 500th Hero ISL fixture brings us back to the Tilak Maidan in Vasco as Northeast United FC face off against Jamshedpur FC in a closed-door affair.

Blast from the past :

The Highlanders scored the first goal of 2020 when they faced the Red Miners in Guwahati earlier this year. An end to end 90 minutes witnessed both the sides salvage a point in an electrifying 3-3 draw.

Northeast United FC :

The Highlanders come into this tie following a stunning 0-0 draw against the Marina Machans last weekend. Gerard Nus and company sit at the 4th spot with 10 points to their name. Out of the 6 matches that have been played between the two sides, 5 matches ended on level terms and 1 match saw Jamshedpur FC come out on top but it’s been a long long time since that victory. Northeast United has scored 8 goals and is the 3rd highest top scorer in the league which exemplifies how ambushing their forward line is. Their backline is no less either as they possess one of the soundest defensive units this season. Gerard Nus and co. will have a formidable job to execute if they want to emerge victorious for the first time against the men of steel.

NorthEast United squad
Credit : NEUFC twitter

“Valskis, we know how dangerous he is inside the box. We know how capable he is in many ways heading, finishing. He’s a dangerous player and no matter what you do you know he is going to be a threat and we saw videos and we are aware of it and we’re gonna try to deal with it in the best way possible. Let’s basically be sure that he is not really comfortable in and has a lot of time to hurt us.”
Added Gerard Nus during the Pre-match press conference.

Jamshedpur FC :

Owen Coyle’s side managed to salvage a point against a mighty Mumbai City FC even after being a man down. Jamshedpur FC is unbeaten in their last 5 games having played 4 draws and one win. Jamshedpur the only side who has never lost to Northeast United FC in the Hero ISL but it’s been a long long time since their last victory against the Highlanders. Lithuanian target man Nerijus Valskis started from where he left last season and has been on fire for his new. TP Rehenesh will play a major role to resist Northeast United’s attacking prowess as he has already made the highest number of saves and has outshined some of the big names in the league.

Credit : Hero ISL Media

“It’s going to be a tough game. NorthEast United FC has started very well and they are working very hard. There is no doubt that they have quality within the squad. It is a game that we are ready for. We are very respectful of them and this is a game we are looking forward to. If we are at our best, we can bring our top game and win.” said Owen Coyle ahead of the game.

Battles to watch out for :

Dylan Fox vs Narijus Valskis

The Australian defender has already gained applauds from football fans and pundits of the Hero ISL courtesy of the phenomenal work at the back for the Highlanders and he will surely need to play his skin out to stop Valskis.

Ninthoi vs Jackichand

Ninthoi (right)

Ninthoi has become a nightmare for the defenders, thanks to his speed and skill. Gerard Nus has used his pay number 7 very well and knows how vital he is.

The story is no different for Jackichand Singh as the Indian international has been a very key player in Owen Coyle’s system.
Let’s see who comes out on top in the battle of two fierce wingers.

Probable Starting XI :

Northeast United FC: Gurmeet, Ashutosh, Fox, Lambot, Gurjinder, Camara, Apuia, Luis, Suhair, Kwesi, Ninthoi.

Jamshedpur FC: Rehenesh, Dinliana, Hartley, Eze, Ricky, Alex, Williams, Amarjit, Aniket, Jackichand, Valskis.