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ISL GW 7 Preview: Kerala host high-flying Goa, Mumbai travel to face confident NorthEast United

Written by: Uttiyo Sarkar

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The week will also see the brief absence of Jamshedpur and Bengaluru FC from the action. 

The Indian Super League (ISL) is slowly moving into a crucial stage of the competition, with some teams threatening to get left behind the leading pack. Following a short break to celebrate the Festival of Lights, the teams will be back on the field trying to light up their own games. There are some important games in store for certain teams who are threatening to fall way behind in the race for the playoffs. Here’s our ISL preview for Gameweek 7.

FC Goa Vs Delhi Dynamos

Date & Venue: 08th November, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Goa.

Time & Broadcast: 07:30 PM/ Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD And Hotstar.

FC Goa suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Jamshedpur earlier this month. It was a wake-up call for Sergio Lobera, who will need to prove that it was just a one-off. Delhi Dynamos very nearly attained their first win the other day and played some impressive football. They’ll look to continue that and a win away to the Gaurs could do a lot of good for Josep Gombau’s job security.

The Gaurs have dominated this fixture, winning six out of the ten times they’ve met the Dynamos in the ISL. The Lions have won three games and only one match has been a draw between the two teams.

Sergio Lobera is expected to stick with the 4-2-3-1 formation which has allowed his team to play such dazzling, fluid football throughout. Ferran Corominas should return after serving his ban to spearhead their attack. Jackichad Singh, Hugo Boumous and Edu Bedia will all play key roles.

Goa will look to make the most of home advantage against Delhi



Delhi will look to counter the Gaurs with their own rigid 4-2-3-1 system, which will understandably be defensive. The Lions showed impressive work on the counter-attack in the last game. If they can frustrate Goa’s attack by staying strong at the back, they could hit them with the blistering pace of Lallianzuala Chhangte and capitalize on the break.

Edu Bedia had a sensational game for FC Goa in their 5-0 thrashing of Mumbai City and will need to regain his form for the Gaurs to make a strong comeback. Bedia’s delightful creativity and eye for goal make him a terrorizing figure in the final third.

Chhangte got his first goal of the season with a clever finish against Jamshedpur, something which definitely boosted his confidence. With Seriton Fernandes coming off a poor match, The winger will aim to use his excellent burst of pace and trickery to terrorize Goa’s weak defence and create big chances for Delhi.

NorthEast United Vs Mumbai City FC

Date & Venue: 09th November/ Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati.

Time & Broadcast: 07:30 PM/ Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD And Hotstar.

NorthEast United’s dream start continued as they brushed aside the Dynamos to consolidate their lead at the top of the table. Eelco Schattorie’s men will show no signs of stopping, as they look to keep the fireworks going against Mumbai City. The Islanders pulled off a surprise away win against Chennaiyin FC last week. They’ll aim to continue the momentum by attaining crucial points against the league leaders.

Mumbai hold a formidable advantage in the head-to-head record, having won five times against the Highlanders in their eight meetings. NorthEast have won only twice, while one game has ended all square.

The Highlanders definitely won’t tinker with their winning team right now and will play the same XI which has been doing wonders for so many games. They’ll continue with their 4-2-3-1 formation and hope that the duo of Federico Gallego and Barthamolew Ogbeche can light up their attack once again on Friday.

Can Mumbai stop the NorthEast juggernaut and make it back-to-back away wins?

Mumbai City will also continue with their rigid 4-3-3 formation which stood them in good stead against the defending champions the other day. They’ll need their defence and domestic midfielders in Sehnaj Singh and Milan Singh to be alert in order to thwart the Highlanders' threat. Mogou Soudou and Rafael Bastos will lead their line again.

Redeem Tlang had a superb game in the capital the other day and sparked some good moves for the Highlanders. He attained a lot of confidence from his performance and will look to score his first goal of the season.

Sougou has proven to be a really clinical striker for Mumbai this season and scored a clever goal to give them three points away at the Marina Arena. His movement, close-control and work-rate in the final third make him the team's focal point.

ATK Vs FC Pune City

Date & Venue: 10th November/ Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata.

Time & Broadcast: 07:30 PM/ Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD And Hotstar.

ATK fell to a disappointing loss to Bengaluru FC, which further hampered their charge towards a playoffs spot. However, they’ll look to change their fortunes against the struggling Pune City. The Stallions, on the other hand, are yet to win a match this season. After a crushing loss to Chennaiyin, they will look to bounce back and hope to capitalize on the Kolkata outfit's vulnerability at home.

Pune City hold the advantage in head-to-head, having defeated ATK five times in the eight matches they’ve played. The Kolkata side have only won one game against the Stallions, while two games have been draws.

ATK will stick to their 4-2-3-1 formation, but will be without Kalu Uche who suffered an injury against Bengaluru. This could see Everton Santos moved to the left, Balwant Singh to the center and either Eugeneson Lyngdoh or Noussair El Maimouni coming in.

Can Everton Santos lift ATK against Pune City?

The Stallions will probably persist with their 4-1-4-1 formation under Pradyum Reddy and will hope that their majestic foreigners can shine through. They’ll have to be defensively solid and be especially wary during set-pieces.

ATK will pin their hopes on Santos to come good upfront. He has been playing in central midfield for a  while, but will now be allowed to play in a more natural role.

Similarly, Pune will also need Emiliano Alfaro to start producing the goods for them. Alfaro was in sublime form last season, but has been frustrating to watch this time out. He is an effective finisher and just needs one goal to regain his touch.


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Kerala Blasters Vs FC Goa

Date & Venue: 11th October/ Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi.

Time & Broadcast: 07:30 PM/ Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD And Hotstar.

Kerala Blasters were dealt a rude awakening by Bengaluru, losing another Southern Derby at home. With only one win in six, David James is under pressure to produce results and Kerala are in dire need of entertaining their fans. Goa will look to redeem their horrific away loss to Jamshedpur by piling on Kerala’s misery.

The Gaurs hold the advantage, having won five matches out of the eight they’ve played against the southern side. Kerala have won three themselves.

The Blasters will mostly continue with their 4-1-4-1 formation, but there could be multiple changes in personnel. Matej Poplatnik will mostly come in after CK Vineeth failed to impress through the middle. James needs his wingers to do the trick and for his foreign strikers to finish chances. The Blasters will need to be compact defensively and prove their counter-attacking prowess.

Kerala Blasters have a task on their hands to contain Goa's firepower

Goa show no fear under Lobera and will retain their 4-2-3-1 formation. They will rely on the likes of Corominas, Bedia and Boumous to trifle with the Kerala defence. Goa can cause the Blasters real problems with their pace and movement.

Seiminlen Doungel looked promising with his movement and intent to create chances against Bengaluru and should definitely start. Doungel is a lively figure in the final third and pops up in all the right positions.

Corominas has enjoyed a great start to the season, barring that unfortunate red card against Pune City. The striker will want to continue his fantastic goalscoring form as we head into the second international break.

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Published: Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:36 PM IST

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