ISL 2020-21 Preview: Bengaluru looks to continue winning run against unbeaten NorthEast United

NorthEast United FC is a team very much in the same mould as Bengaluru FC – strong defensively and looking to hit on the counter and unbeaten in the league so far.

NorthEast United FC (in red) has never beaten Bengaluru FC in the league stage.   -  SPORTZPICS/ISL

Fresh off its maiden win this ISL campaign, against Chennaiyin FC, Bengaluru FC will look to keep up the momentum when it takes on NorthEast United FC at the Fatorda Stadium on Tuesday.

BFC is unbeaten in the league so far and is fifth in the table with five points from three games. But NorthEast is also yet to taste defeat, and is a rung above on eight points, having played a match more.

“It's going to be a very tactical match because they are a very well-organised team,” BFC boss Carles Cuadrat said. “NorthEast are very compact in defence and wait for opportunities to attack.”

 

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“But we are a very consistent team with a clear plan. It’s very difficult to play against us. At the same time, we know that we have room for improvement and that is what we are trying to do,” Cuadrat added.

Shades of this were visible against Chennaiyin, where BFC showed greater purpose in driving forward from the get-go. Much of this had to do with midfielder Dimas Delgado starting his first match of the season. The BFC camp will hope for this to continue and result in the team’s first goal from open play this edition.

Listen | Check out our analysis of matchweek 2 of the Indian Super League on our football special podcast, The Full Time Show.

Up top, Cleiton Silva seems to have done enough to sew up one of the forward positions, but the role of his partner is up for grabs, with Deshorn Brown, Udanta Singh and Kristian Opseth all in the fray.

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NorthEast is a team very much in the same mould as BFC – strong defensively and looking to hit on the counter. The centre-back pairing of Benjamin Lambot and Dylan Fox has been solid and the side has thus far drawn against FC Goa and Kerala Blasters, handed Sergio Lobera his only defeat as Mumbai City FC manager and beaten Robbie Fowler’s SC East Bengal.

“We try in many ways to be dangerous for the opponent, whether it is counter-attack, positional play, from set-pieces or other ways,” explained NorthEast coach Gerard Nus. “We try to be unpredictable."

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“[But] the principles of our style will not change because we believe in them. Of course, we also take into consideration the opponent. Bengaluru is really strong in set-pieces. So we are going to be prepared in the best way possible.”

NorthEast has never beaten BFC in the league stage and Tuesday may be a good time to do so.

- THE SQUADS -

BENGALURU FC - Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Lara Sharma, Dipesh Chauhan, Lalthuammawia Ralte, Juanan, Rahul Bheke, Fran Gonzalez, Harmanjot Khabra, Ajith Kumar, Joe Zoherliana, Biswa Darjee, Namgyal Bhutia, Parag Srivas, Pratik Chaudhari, Wungngayam Muirang, Dimas Delgado, Erik Paartalu, Suresh Wangjam, Thoi Singh, Ajay Chhetri, Naorem Roshan Singh, Emanuel Lalchhanchhuaha, Amay Morajkar, Sunil Chhetri, Kristian Opseth, Cleiton Silva, Ashique Kuruniyan, Deshorn Brown, Udanta Singh, Edmund Lalrindika, Leon Augustin, Semboi Haokip

NORTHEAST UNITED FC: Sanjiban Ghosh, Subhasish Roy, Gurmeet, Nikhil Deka, Ashutosh Mehta, Benjamin Lambot, Dylan Fox, Gurjinder Kumar, Mashoor Shereef, Nabin Rabha, Nim Dorjee, Provat Lakra, Wayne Vaz, Rakesh Pradhan, Federico Gallego, Khassa Camara, Lalengmawia, Imran Khan, Lalrempuia Fanai, Pragyan Gogoi, Rochharzela, Idrissa Sylla, Luis Machado, Kwesi Appiah, Britto PM, Ninthoinganba Meetei, Lalkhawpuimawia, Suhair Vadakkepeedika

 

MATCH FACTS

Time: 7:30pm

Venue: Fatorda Stadium

 

Listen | Check out our analysis of matchweek 2 of the Indian Super League on our football podcast, The Full Time Show.