ISL 2020-21 Preview: NorthEast United eyes to tighten playoff chances

ISL 2020-21: NorthEast United FC will aim to continue its unbeaten streak over a wavering Chennaiyin FC outfit when they meet in the Indian Super League on Thursday.

After a win over last-placed Odisha FC in its previous match, NEUFC, will be more than eager to do really well in its next three matches and make it to the play-offs.   -  Sportzpics

Play-offs hopes gone up in smoke, Chennaiyin FC will be looking to end the season on a high. With two matches remaining, the two-time champion will go all-out to script a victory-one that it has been unable to do for the last seven matches.

Its opponent NorthEast United FC (NEUFC) on Thursday in the Indian Super League at the GMC Bambolim Stadium is in a much-better position as it is keen to secure a berth for qualification for play-offs.

Currently in fourth place, NEUFC has been on a seven-match unbeaten run. After a win over last-placed Odisha FC in its previous match, NEUFC, which looked impressive under the interim coach Khalid Jamil, will be more than eager to do really well in its next three matches and make it to the play-offs.

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With FC Goa and Bengaluru FC close on its heels, NEUFC realises the task on hand is not by any stretch of imagination, easy.

“We just have to control them, dictate the play and not give them time with the ball and space to operate,” said NEUFC’s assistant coach Alison Kharsyntiew. “We have to be calm, composed, and concentrate on our game. At the same time we have to show aggression we have to play with intensity and 100 percent effort to win the match."

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Chennaiyin has been wasteful on the final third, fluffing several opportunities. Coach Csaba Laszlo was keen the team do well.  “We have two games to go and this is not just about playoffs but it is to get good results. In these two games, we will do everything in order to win.”

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The Chennaiyin gaffer was optimistic that his team will play positively and compete in the same manner it did against FC Goa (2-2) in its previous contest. “Every team has ups and downs and not every season is perfect. I think this season we had a lot of good things. But it wasn’t so fantastic and not so positive, especially in offence. It (NorthEast) will be a tough game. They have made good recruitment especially the foreigners. And in this game we see if we get the opportunity or not but our target is to win this game. Our attention is on playing successful football and scoring goals. We go into the game the way we went against Goa and this is our target.”