The focus shifts to Matchday 93 of the Hero ISL as Northeast United face Odisha to kickoff Super Sunday at the Tilak Maidan in a Valentine’s day battle.
Blast from the past:
A 4 goals thriller with 4 different overseas scorers ended with both sides sharing spoils as Benjamin Lambot & Kwesi Appiah got their names on the scoresheet for Northeast, Diego Maurício & Cole Alexander did the needful for Odisha FC.
Northeast United FC:
Northeast United will be hoping to get the better of Odisha if they want to secure a play off birth ahead of FC Goa and Hyderabad. The Highlanders come into this fixture on the back of 0-0 draw against theur direct rivals for the top 4 Hyderabad FC. They sit just outside the top four but have also played a game less. Khalid Jamil has given this team the much needed confidence and believe to build upon ever since the departure of Gerard Nus. Things are pretty balanced on both the end for the Highlanders as they have scored the third highest number of goals (21) but have also let in 20 goals, an area they will surely be trying to improved upon. Odisha FC are one of those few sides against whom Northeast United have never managed to keep a clean sheet and they will surely looking to turn it around in their favour.
“We go there with a very serious attitude and like a said, we go there tomorrow we have to show the right mentality and be hungry. That’s the main thing. Our main objective is to win tomorrow’s match. That’s our only goal,” said Assistant Coach Alison Kharsyntiew at the Pre match press conference.
Despite a busy transfer window ahead of the seventh season, Odisha find themselves at the bottom of the table and just want to fight for their pride. The Juggernauts are hopeful to finish their season on a high and can undoubtedly cause upsets to the ones who are pushing themselves towards a top 4 finish. They come into this game after a 2-2 draw against Kerala Blasters. The current season has been nothing less than a nightmare to their backline as they have let the second highest number of goals (27) and have kept just one clean sheet, the lowest in the league.
“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.
Players to watch out for:
Federico Gallego (Northeast United FC)
The Uruguayan lynchpin has regained his top form. The has scored 4 goals and has provided 4 assists too and has the maximum number of goal contributions in the Highlanders’ camp. He was also named at the Hero of the month for January for his magical display in the middle of the park.
Cole Alexander (Odisha FC)
The South African is work horse for the Juggernauts. He ranks amongst the top 4 players with the most number of tackles with 88 tackles to his name and also displayed his scoring intents with 3 absolutely sublime goals, one of them came in the riverse fixture against the Highlanders.
Probable Starting XI:
Northeast United FC (4-3-3): Subhasish (GK), Ashutosh, Mashoor, Fox, Gurjinder, Camara, Lalengmawia, Gallego, Machado, Suhair, Ninthoi.
Odisha FC (4-2-3-1): Arshdeep (GK), Rakesh, Gaurav, Taylor, Jacob, Vinit, Cole, Jerry, Inman, Paul, Mauricio.