Sunday, June 4, 2023

Northeast United shift focus to East Bengal as the eastern derby unfolds the story

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Matchday 104 will see the riverse fixture being played between Northeast United who are eyeing a top four finish and SC East Bengal who want to end the season on a high.

Blast from the past:

The Highlanders emerged victorious the last time they faced of against their neighbours as an own goal from Surchandra Singh and Rochherzela’s debut goals sealed the deal for them.

SC East Bengal:

Credit: SCEB Twitter

The Kolkata Giants were handed a second derby defeat by their city rivals ATK Mohun Bagan in their previous match. They find themselves in the ninth position with 17 points to their name. The Red and Golds have been on the back foot when it comes to defending and have let in 25 goals, eight of them coming in the final 15 minutes of the game and have just kept 3 clean sheets from 18 matches so far. They will be for nothing but for pride and will be looking to end their debut season a strong note.
“The derby was a tough result to take… we have had an eye on next season more than this season. We have brought in a couple of players who have improved us. The Highlanders have done great. They started the season very well. The have a good blend of youth in the team and they deserve to be in the top four. It’s going to be a test but that’s the best time to see what your players are made of,” SC East Bengal’s assistant coach Tony Grant said ahead of the game.

Northeast United FC:

Credit: NEUFC Twitter

Northeast United will looking to get the better of East Bengal as the race for the top four has started getting conjugated. They come into this their reverse fixture against East Bengal following a 3-3 draw against Chennaiyin. The Highlanders are on a 8 match unbeaten run and the arrival of Khalid Jamil has seen the charts touching greater heights when it comes to scoring goals as they have netted in 14 goals ever since the interim head coach took over. Khalid Jamil’s men will surely come out all guns blazing to book a play off berth for themselves.
“We have to play very well tomorrow. We have to defend well, attack well and we have to create chances and utilise our chances and have to give 100 percent effort from everyone. This game we cannot take easily, we should come with full character, play our best and give our effort in the 90 minutes and hopefully we get the three points,” said coach Alison Kharsyntiew at the pre match press conference.

Players to watch out for:

Bright Enobakhare (SC East Bengal)

Credit: SCEB Twitter

The Nigerian forward has played a crucial part in East Bengal’s attack. Ever since joining the Red and Golds in the winter transfer window, he has netted in 3 goals and has displayed his individual brilliance. He will have a key role to play against Northeast United.

Luis Machado (Northeast United FC)

Credit: NEUFC Twitter

The Portuguese winger has 8 direct goal contributions to his name for the Highlanders. He is even Northeast United’s leading goalscorer with 7 goals to his name. His versatility to play on the both the wings gives comes in as an added advantage for the Guwahati based club.

Probable Starting XI:

SC East Bengal (4-1-3-2): Subrata (GK), Narayan, Raju, Scott, Sarthak, Ankit, Sourav, Rafique, Steinmann, Bright, Pilkington.

Northeast United FC (4-3-3): Subhasish (GK), Lakra, Mashoor, Lambot, Nim, Camara, Lalengmawia, Imran, Machado, Brown, Suhair.

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