Follow the live action from ISL 2021-22: Bengaluru FC vs NorthEast United FC here. (Refresh the page if any issue arises)

6:30 PM: Hello everyone and welcome to Khel Now’s LIVE COVERAGE of Bengaluru FC vs NorthEast United FC in Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22. Led by head coach Marco Pezzaiuoli, the Blues began their campaign today. Khalid Jamil-led NorthEast United, meanwhile will look to pose a tough challenge against them. Kick-off is just an hour away!

I’m your host Sattyik Sarkar, and I’ll be keeping you company through what promises a fascinating evening of football.

Bengaluru FC vs NorthEast United: Building up

For Bengaluru FC, this could be a much better season than 2020-21 – at least based on performances so far in pre-season, the most recent instances being the wins against Jamshedpur FC and Chennaiyin FC. Basically, the Blues have had some major restructuring and overhauls in terms of management and players. With a lot more youngsters and newer foreign signings, there is a new aura of excitement around them this season.

However, this very revamp could go either way. Figuring out their best side by integrating the right mix of youth and experience would be their biggest challenge. In other words, fielding the right mix of youth and experience to cater to their philosophy and rightly replace veteran departures could either go smooth or become a prolonged process. Despite glimpses of wins, nothing can really be proven until they actually battle it out in the season. For this game though, Pezzaiuoli and his men would be looking forward to stability and to set the tone for the rest of the campaign.

After barely coming up short last season and losing out to ATK Mohun Bagan in the semi-finals, NorthEast United aim for redemption. For this, a lot has been entrusted upon Khalid Jamil, who debuts tomorrow as the first full-time head coach in the ISL. The 44-year-old knows the ins and outs of Indian football and has an I-League title to his name in his first and only season with Aizawl FC in 2016. This experience, along with his association with the Highlanders saw them finish with 33 points — their highest tally. As a result, they’d be hoping for a stable kick-start to build up a good lead right from the beginning.

Subsequently, Jamil’s success would be of major significance for Indian football. If he succeeds, it could pave the path for a lot more Indian head coaches in the future. However, do keep in mind that they have a highly inexperienced Indian contingent compared to their rivals. In other words, a side that’s heavily dependent on foreign players for creativity and one with zero Indian internationals — that too in a season with the four foreigners rule in play. Regardless, Khalid Jamil is a man known for getting the best out of limited resources. Hence, he’ll be looking to capitalize on the abilities at his disposal — squad versatility and his very own knowledge of the ISL built over the last few years.

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