The hosts need to win all their remaining games to have a chance of making the playoffs…
After a dramatic finish in the last match, where FC Goa lost 1-2 to Kerala Blasters, the Guars will be in a must win situation when they face NorthEast United FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Goa in the Indian Super League on Friday.
The Guars have failed to impress in most of the matches played so far, but from the coming match, it will be do-or-die for them as they have to win all their remaining five matches to stand a chance of qualifying for the playoffs. On the other hand, the team from the Northeast has also experienced the same. They are winless in the last four matches but victory in Goa can see them rise to 3rd position in the league and will keep them in contenders for the knockout stages.
FCG boss Zico is most likely to make changes in the starting XI, when his side will be up against NorthEast. Gregory Arnolin and Richarlyson were sent off in the last match and will be suspended, while Lucio will be out because of an injury. Trindade Goncalves and Debabrata Roy are most likely to replace the defender and the midfielder respectively. He might also think of bringing back Jofre in place of Sanjay Balmuchu in the midfield. The Brazilian could also pair Reinaldo with Rafael Coelho up top.
NorthEast head coach Nelo Vingada will be looking to field the same team which lost against Mumbai City FC. With both goalkeepers Subrata Paul and Rehenesh TP injured, the Portuguese coach will have to continue with Wellington Gomes. The only change in the starting XI can be a comeback for Nicolas Velez who will lead the line in the absence of the suspended Emiliano Alfaro.
Head to Head
The Highlanders have never managed to beat the Guars on their own turf. Their only win against the Goan team came earlier this season when FC Goa was the visiting team in Guwahati.
Man to Watch
Rafael Coelho – FC Goa: The Brazilian striker has scored 3 goals, second highest in the league so far. He has also attempted 19 shots out of which 8 were on target. This is the highest by any FC Goa player. With accuracy in his shots and ability to finish clinically, Coelho could be a handful for the Highlanders’ back four.
Nicolas Velez-NorthEast United FC: The striker was the team’s top scorer last season with five goals. He has played a slightly more withdrawn role on the left wing this year but remains a key cog in the wheel. With Alfaro suspended he will lead the line in this one.
FC Goa (4-4-2): Kattimani, Gaikwad, Dumas, Debabrata, Sobrosa, Mandar, Jofre, Romeo, Goncalves, Reinaldo, Coelho.
NorthEast United FC (4-3-3-1): Cullen, Gomes, Chettri, Alves, Lazzaretti, Gurung, Zokora, Borges, Narzary, Passi, Velez.
The match will be telecast live on Star Sports 1, HD1, Star Sports 2, HD2, Star Gold, Star Gold HD, Jalsha Movies, Jalsha Movies HD and Hotstar. You can also follow Live text commentary of the game on Khelnow.com.
Photo © ISL Media
Preview by Khel Now Correspondent Ravish Narvekar from Goa . A true Football enthusiast & a die hard Liverpool fan. Ravish also enjoys travelling & he’s an avid foodie.