last updated: 26th Nov,2020. 12:27pm
The second round is underway at the Indian Super League (ISL) as teams are slowly settling down and trying to get their team combinations right. Kerala Blasters FC host NorthEast United FC at the Goa Medical College Ground in Bambolim on Thursday.
Kerala Blasters lost the season opener to ATK Mohun Bagan with a 0-1 scoreline. The Blasters showed promise and quality but were still outdone by ATK Mohun Bagan. The lack of match practice was indicative as Kibu Vicuna’s side looked out of cohesion.
The Blasters played out a friendly with Mumbai City FC behind closed doors after their season opener to work on their match fitness. Even though the Blasters had plenty of areas to work on, there were a few instances of a silver lining as well. The defensive pair of Costa Nhamoinesu and Bakary Kone looked solid, which will allow Vicuna to concentrate solely on the midfield in order to supply enough balls to Gary Hooper.
NorthEast United, meanwhile, won their opening fixture over Mumbai City FC with an unexpected 1-0 scoreline. Mumbai City FC looked unsettled and weary, which allowed the defensive pair of Benjamin Lambot and Dylan Fox to be at their absolute best. Gerard Nus’ side soaked up all the pressure to keep on attacking on counter to surprise Mumbai City FC. The crowding up of the midfield worked brilliantly in favor of the Highlanders.
A win for NorthEast United pushes them to the top of the league, while a win for Kerala Blasters will provide the much-needed impetus to Kibu Vicuna’s side to get going in the season.
Kerala Blasters FC vs NorthEast United FC – All you need to know
Kerala Blasters FC and NorthEast United FC have faced each other on 12 occasions in the past six seasons of the Indian Super League. The teams have only met in the regular league season. The two teams have been very competitive with each other in their games.
Kerala Blasters have won on five occasions while the Highlanders have been able to garner three wins. Four games have ended in a draw. The last three meetings between these two sides have ended in a stalemate, indicating the quality and competitiveness between the two teams. In fact, the last encounter between the two teams ended as a goalless draw.
Results of last five ISL matches between Kerala Blasters FC and NorthEast United FC
NorthEast United FC 0-0 Kerala Blasters FC
Kerala Blasters FC 1-1 NorthEast United FC
Kerala Blasters FC 0-0 NorthEast United FC
NorthEast United FC2-1 Kerala Blasters FC
NorthEast United FC 0-1Kerala Blasters FC
Top 3 goalscorers from last season
Kerala Blasters FC – Bartholomew Ogbeche (15), Messi Bouli (8), Rahul KP (1)
NorthEast United FC – Asamoah Gyan (4), Redeem Tlang (3), Martin Chaves (3)
Clean sheets from last season
Kerala Blasters FC – 3
NorthEast United FC – 3
Kerala Blasters FC vs NorthEast United FC Predicted XI
Kerala Blasters FC (4-2-3-1): Albino Gomes (GK),
Jessel Allan Carneiro,
Costa Nhamoinesu, Prasanth Karuthadathkuni, Nongdamba Naorem, Sahal Abdul Samad, Sergio Cidoncha (C), Facundo Pereyra, Ritwik Kumar Das, Gary Hooper.
NorthEast United FC (4-3-3): Subhasish Roy Chowdhury (C) (GK), Gurjinder Kumar, Ashutosh Mehta, Dylan Fox, Benjamin Lambot, Khassa Camara, Lalrempuia Fanai, Lalengmawia, Khumanthem Ninthoinganba Meetei, Kwesi Appiah, Luis Miguel Vieira Babo Machado.
Prediction: Kerala Blasters 1-1 NorthEast United FC