East Bengal FC looks to build on the momentum and NorthEast United FC would be desperate to put a dent in that momentum when the two sides meet in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Saturday.
Juan Pedro Benali & Co. resumed their campaign after the mid-season break with a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Jamshedpur FC, as a late equaliser by Mohammed Ali Bemammer helped them secure a point from the contest.
NorthEast United FC is one of the many competitors for the sixth playoff spot, just a point behind Bengaluru FC (14), which has also played a game more (14) than the Highlanders (13).
East Bengal FC secured its biggest-ever ISL win when it beat NEUFC by 5-0 at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan Stadium in the earlier fixture between these sides in this league. It is likely that its current run of impressive form kicked off from then and continued impeccably to result in them winning the Kalinga Super Cup last month.
The Highlanders kicked off the season positively, but their form slightly fizzled out before getting on a good run in December. Benali has had reasonable time to work with the squad, and his efforts have also been recognised by the management, who handed him a contract extension till 2025.
The journey of the coming nine games is going to be pretty challenging straight up, but a possible qualification could help them script a remarkable comeback after the 2022-23 season when they could win only one of the 20 league matches.
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