ISL: BFC bids to get back on track against NorthEast United

Following its first loss of the Indian Super League campaign with a 1-0 defeat to Mumbai City FC, Bengaluru FC will prepare to face NorthEast United at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Wednesday.

BFC will continue to be without the services of Miku, who is expected to be ready in time for Saturday's trip to Chennai.   -  bfc media

Bengaluru FC will be eager to put things right after suffering its first loss of the season in Mumbai. That narrow defeat put an end to a proud 11-game unbeaten streak, and BFC will be disappointed that it was beaten by a single counter-attack when it dominated possession and created a number of chances.

There will be little rest for Carles Cuadrat's men, though, as they prepare to face NorthEast United at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Wednesday.

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"It's nice to talk about unbeaten records but we have to realistic," the BFC head coach said on the eve of the game. "We're fighting for the title. You never remember the records later."

BFC will continue to be without the services of Miku, who is expected to be ready in time for Saturday's trip to Chennai. The Venezuelan striker's absence has clearly hurt the side, for it is not just his goals that are missed but also his fine link-up play in the final third.

His return cannot come soon enough for BFC will be wary of overworking Sunil Chhetri and Udanta Singh, both of whom were an integral part of India's Asian Cup campaign. "Sunil and Udanta are not fresh but it's normal," said Cuadrat. "They haven't had a break while the others have. We don't have to worry. They will be back to full fitness in a while."

'Well-organized BFC'

NorthEast sits third on the table, four points behind BFC (27), and is fresh off a victory over Chennaiyin FC. That win was achieved with the help of an 87th-minute strike from Bartholomew Ogbeche, who with 10 goals is the league's joint-top-scorer. The result would have come as a relief, for it was the side's first triumph in five games.

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When NorthEast and BFC last met, in Guwahati in December, the away side scored a late equalizer to snatch a draw. This contest is expected to be equally close. "We should have won that game," smiled Eelco Schattorie, the NorthEast head coach, here on Tuesday. "We would've been the first team to beat BFC this season."

The Dutchman dismissed any talk of BFC being low on confidence after Sunday's loss. “They shouldn’t be too worried,” he said. “They’re the only club in India that’s this well-organized.”

NorthEast may seem overly reliant on Ogbeche and Federico Gallego, but Schattorie had no issues with that. “Yes, we depend on them, but there’s nothing I can do,” he said. “As long as they keep scoring, it’s fine.”