Both sides come into this fixture on the back of 4-2 defeats in their opening fixtures.
Match No. 7 of the ongoing Indian Super League (ISL) season 2021-22 will see NorthEast United lock horns against the Kerala Blasters. Both sides will be looking to bounce back from their disappointing opening fixture defeats when they meet at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda on November 25.
NorthEast United FC
The Highlanders come into this game following a 4-2 defeat to Bengaluru FC in their opening match. They came back twice to level things in the first half, but the lack of concentration and inexperienced players at the back cost them heavily, as they leaked four goals. Khalid Jamil will be looking to get his tactics and match-ups right, as NorthEast United look to bounce back with a positive result against the Yellow Army come Thursday.
The Yellow Army too had a disappointing outing in their opening game as they were handed a 4-2 defeat by the Mariners. The Kochi-based outfit didn’t start off well, but displayed a mature performance in the second half of the game. Kerala Blasters will want to recover from that defeat and get their season up and running against the Highlanders.
NorthEast United will have a fully fit squad going into the match against Kerala Blasters, apart from midfielder Imran Khan, who is still doubtful. Federico Gallego and Patrick Flottmann have started training and are expected to be included in the matchday squad.
Kerala Blasters, on the other hand, will miss out on the services of Rahul KP and Nishu Kumar. Rahul KP will miss a minimum of four weeks of action due to an injury. While Nishu Kumar is still not 100% fit.
This will be their 15th meeting in eight seasons. Out of the last 14 matches, Kerala Blasters have won five, NorthEast United have won four and five matches have ended in a draw. The last time these two teams came up against each other, Khalid Jamil’s side emerged victorious with a 2-0 scoreline.
NorthEast United (4-3-3): Subhasish Roy Chowdhury (GK) (C); Provat Lakra, Jestin George, Hernan Santana, Tondonba Singh; Khassa Camara, Federico Gallego, Sehnaj Singh; William Lalnunfela, Deshorn Brown, VP Suhair.
Kerala Blasters (4-4-2): Albino Gomes (GK); Sandeep Singh, Enes Sipovic, Abdul Hakku, Jessel Carneiro (C); Prasanth Karuthadathkuni, Sahal Abdul Samad, Jeakson Singh, Adrian Luna; Alvaro Vazquez, Jorge Pereyra Diaz.
Man to watch
Deshorn Brown (NorthEast United)
The Jamaican set the stage on fire for the Highlanders in the opening minutes of their last game. He was by far the best player on the pitch for the Guwahati-based club. Brown scored the opening goal for NorthEast United and also had his say in other threatening moves from the Highlanders.
Jorge Pereyra Diaz (Kerala Blasters)
The striker worked his socks off in Kerala Blasters’ opening game against ATK Mohun Bagan. He scored the second goal in bright fashion for the Blasters. Individually, the Argentine striker had a good game, but he will be eyeing a better result against NorthEast United FC.
Did You Know?
- NorthEast United are undefeated against Kerala Blasters in the last three seasons, two wins and four draws.
- Out of the five draws between NorthEast United and Kerala Blasters, four of them have come in their last six meetings.
- Federico Gallego from NorthEast United created the most number of chances in the league last season (51) and Sahal Abdul Samad from Kerala Blasters created the second-most number of chances among Indian players (28).
The match between NorthEast United and Kerala Blasters is scheduled for a 7:30 PM kick-off. The action will be available on the Star Sports Network and will be live streamed on Disney+Hotstar and Jio TV.