The hosts need a win to keep their playoffs hopes alive…
NorthEast United FC have only 35.8 percent chance of qualification to semi-finals of Hero Indian Super League but despite having the least chance among four hopefuls, they are staying calm and positive.
Placed just below league leaders Mumbai City FC with 20 points in their kitty second placed Delhi Dynamos FC will pay a visit to fifth-placed NorthEast United FC at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati in Match 52 of the Indian Super League on Wednesday.
The two teams come into this fixture with interesting results in their previous matches. While the Highlanders kept their semis hopes alive by sharing points with Chennaiyin FC in one of the most thrilling matches of the season so far by a 3-3 score line, the Dynamos thrashed FC Goa by a huge margin of 5-1 last Sunday. This is a must-win encounter for the hosts, who are on 15 points from 12 games and are staring at an exit at any point of time if they lose. Nelo Vingada’s men will have to garner maximum points from their remaining fixtures in order to stay alive in the league. The Delhi Dynamos, on the other hand, will try to get all three points and knock the hosts out while becoming the league leaders.
For the hosts midfielder Rowlin Borges is likely to return to the starting XI while defender Nirmal Chettri should be part of the matchday squad. Centre-back Gustavo Lazzaretti remains a doubt ahead of this one.
The visitors have no injuries or suspensions and have a fully fit squad to pick from.
Head to Head
Every time the Lions have travelled to Guwahati they have emerged victorious. They beat NorthEast 2-1 in 2014 and did a repeat in 2015 with the similar score-line. However, Delhi are yet to beat the Highlanders in their own backyard as their previous three matches in the capital city ended in 0-0,1-1 and 1-1 draws in Hero ISL 2014,Hero ISL 2015 and Hero ISL 2016 respectively.
It implies that, the Highlanders are yet to find a win against the Lions in ISL.
Man to Watch
Nicolas Velez-NorthEast United FC: Nicolas Velez aka Nico, the Argentine is playing TWO straight seasons for the Highlanders. His impressive performance with 8 goals overall, adding a couple in the last game, make him a prize asset for the Nelo Vingada side. In the initial part of the league he was not finding goals, but from the last couple of matches, Valez is becoming the most destructive weapon in Vingada’s brigade. For sure, the team will depend on him on Wednesday against Gianluca Zambrotta’s team.
Marcelinho-Delhi Dynamos: Marcelo Leite Pereira or Marcelinho as he is better known is a versatile Brazilian attacker capable of slotting in seamlessly in wide areas as well as up front. Prior to joining hands with Delhi Dynamos FC ahead of ISL 2016, Marcelinho was seen in action with Brazilian side Anapolis. In the ISL so far it’s a dream run for Marcelinho with 8 goals under his belt to become the top scorer of the league. He was seen at his best during the last game against FC Goa, in which he managed to score a hat-trick in front of the legendary Zico, his compatriot. For sure, Marcelinho will be in action against NEUFC and it will be interesting to watch if he can increase his goal tally in the league.
NorthEast United: Subrata Paul(GK), Salam Ranjan Singh, Shouvik Ghosh, Mailson Alves, Wellington Priori, Didier Zokora(C), Koffi Christian N’dri, Rowlin Borges, Seityasen Singh, Nicolas Leandro Velez, Emiliano Alfaro.
Delhi Dynamos FC: Poirei (GK), Rocha, Souvik, Anas Edathodika, Addy, Marcos Tebar, Milan Singh, Kean Lewis, Marcelo Leite Pereira, Florent Malouda(C), Richard Gadze.
The match will be telecast live on Star Sports 1, Star Sports HD1, Star Gold, Star Gold HD, Jalsha Movies, Jalsha Movies HD, and Hotstar. You can also follow live commentary on Khel Now website by our ISL correspondent.
Photo © ISL Media
Preview by Khel Now Correspondent Himangshu Rajkhowa. He is big football and cricket fan.