The two sides are currently placed ninth and eleventh in the points table.

Both NorthEast United and Bengaluru FC have struggled to get going this season and will be desperate to turn their campaigns around. NorthEast have made some statement signings under Vincenzo Alberto Annese, while Bengaluru’s January arrival Pablo Perez has hit the ground running. The two sides meet in Guwahati with everything to fight for.

The Stakes

NorthEast United

Alberto Annese’s tenure has had a mixed start so far. While the win against ATK Mohun Bagan gave them their first points, the embers of a climb back up the table were extinguished by three crushing losses. The scorelines such as 3-7 to Chennaiyin, 1-2 to Goa, and 1-6 to Hyderabad are evidences of defensive frailty. Former Blues left-back Hira Mondal’s arrival should help in shoring up the ranks.

Bengaluru FC

Currently sitting ninth on the table, BFC haven’t had the rub of the green this season. They enter the fixture on the back of a defeat at the hands of East Bengal. Three points will be the target against an opponent they have already beaten in the reverse fixture. They have won away just once this season, against Goa back in November.

Injury & Team News

NorthEast have acquired 26-year-old defender Hira Mondal and are chasing Alex Saji on loan.

Pablo Perez made his first start against East Bengal, lasting 70 minutes in his return from a long-term injury. Jovanovic was on the bench in the previous game. BFC are carrying a few niggles.

No injury updates for both teams yet!

Head-to-Head

NorthEast United and Bengaluru FC have locked horns 13 times in the ISL till now. In the season opener for both teams at the Kanteerava, BFC prevailed 1-0 through Alan Costa’s header from Javi Hernandez’s corner.

Bengaluru FC – 7

NorthEast United – 2

Drawn – 4

Predicted Line-ups

NorthEast United (4-3-3)

Mirshad Michu; Joe Zoherliana, Gaurav Bora, Aaron Evans, Tondonba Singh; Emil Benny, Sehnaj Singh, Pragyan Gogoi; Rochharzela, Wilmar Gil, Romain Philippoteaux

Bengaluru FC (5-3-2)

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Namgyal Bhutia, Sandesh Jhingan, Alan Costa, Parag Shrivas, Naorem Roshan Singh; Suresh Wangjam, Javi Hernandez, Pablo Perez; Roy Krishna, Sunil Chhetri

Player to Watch

Wilmar Jordan Gil (NorthEast United)

Wilmar Jordan Gil in action against Hyderabad FC. (Courtesy: ISL Media)

The Colombian has been a bright spark for NorthEast. He has contributed both with his finishing and build-up play. NorthEast bagged their first and only win of the season through Gil’s winner against ATK Mohun Bagan.

Pablo Perez (Bengaluru FC)

Pablo Perez against East Bengal. (Courtesy: ISL Media)

Perez had an impressive full debut for Bengaluru FC against East Bengal, slotting in midfield with Suresh Wangjam and allowing Javi to roam freer. His ball progression and quick passing will be key for Bengaluru FC in their transitions.

Did You Know?

  • Both teams have won one of their last five and lost the other four.
  • NorthEast United’s Arindam Bhattacharya made seven appearances for BFC during his stint in the 2016-17 I-League season.
  • Mirshad Michu has made the most saves this season with 38.

Telecast

The match between NorthEast United and Bengaluru FC will take place at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium on December 6th (Friday). The kick-off time is 7:30 pm IST. The game will be telecasted live on the Star Sports Network. Disney+HotStar and JioTV will also stream the match.

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