27th November 2014, 19:00 IST
After a disappointing 2-1 loss against Delhi Dynamos, NorthEast United take on league leaders Chennaiyin FC in a must win encounter. Slipping to the bottom of the table, NorthEast United come into this match as underdogs and favorites to lose the tie. Meanwhile, after a thumping 3-0 won against Mumbai City FC, a resolute Chennaiyin FC would be looking to seal all the points, and cement their place in the semi final berth. A showdown between two masterminds in the form of NorthEast United’s Ricki Herbert and Chennaiyin FC’s Marco Materazzi is insured to take place, as NorthEast United fight for survival.
Team News and Tactical Brief:
Life has been dismayal for John Abraham’s franchisee. The Highlanders slipped to bottom of the league after suffering a 2-1 defeat against fellow strugglers Delhi Dynamos, who now exchange places with NorthEast and jump to seventh. Attack has been one of the main reasons for NorthEast’s fluttery performances in the Super League. Even after boasting the inspirational Koke, the Highlanders have failed to convert their goal scoring chances. 7 goals in 10 games, clearly reflects the torrid times NorthEast is suffering.
Led by Issac Chansa and Mtonga in midfield, NorthEast United would be looking to pull out a stunner against league leaders, while displaying an array of swift one touch passing movements. T.P Rehnesh has been one of the key links in an ailing squad, and the Keralite has dished out superb performances for the Highlanders. With Joan Capdevila in the heart of defense, NorthEast United would be expecting their front line – Len and Koke, to click, which would be powered by the attacking trio of Adinga, Chansa and Do.
Probable Starting Lineup (4-1-3-2): T.P Rehnesh, Aibor Khongjee, Garcia, Joan Capdevila, Robin Gurung, Mtonga, Issac Chansa, Do, Adinga, Koke, Len
The league leaders are enjoying a decent run of form in the Super League. Bagging nineteen points in their ten games, Chennaiyin FC look the most likely side to make to the latter stages of the competition. After demolishing Mumbai City FC 3-0, the Abhishek Bachchan co-owned side would turn eyes to lowly NorthEast United.
With Elano excluded out of the squad, Chennaiyin are expected to deploy Pellisari in his favored role of a playmaker. The sensational Balwant Singh will once again be partnered with live wire Jeje. Both of these tireless runners, could prove thorns to a crumbling NorthEast defense. The midfield is governed by former Manchester United ace Djemba Djemba and Bojan Djordjic. Although Chennaiyin’s attack has been clinical and has stirred an impact on almost all sides, their defense is arguably one of the main reason for their success.
Flaunting Bernard Mendy and Mikael Silvestre in the heart of defense, Chennayin FC are expected to once again utilize midfielder Harmanjot Khabra as the Right Back, while the experienced Dhana Singh, would comprise of the left back. Although Chennayin would look to rest key players and notably skipper Materazzi, substitute appearances from them cannot be ruled out.
Probable Starting Lineup ( 4-3-1-2): Bracigliano, Harmanjot Khabra, Bernard Mendy, Mikael Silvestre, Dhana Singh, Bojan Djordjic, Denson, Djemba-Djemba, Pellisari, Jeje, Balwant Singh
NorthEast United 1 – Chennaiyin FC 4
NorthEast’s fight for survival is likely to give way to a Chennaiyin FC side, running high on morale and form. TheHardTackle predicts NorthEast to score a customary goal, after suffering a flurry of Chennaiyin attacks and goals. NorthEast however, are expected to dominate possession.