Northeast United FC hosted the first game of the season against Kerala Blasters last Saturday. Katsumi Yusa scored the winner in the second half to edge the Highlanders past their opponents and secure their first win of the season. FC Goa who start their campaign against NEUFC would be looking for nothing short of a win. These two teams met two times last season with one game ending in a stalemate while in the other Goa thrashed NEUFC 3-1.
In the past 4 games over the last 2 seasons, NEUFC have not been able to register a single win against the team from Goa. Going into the game after a victory in the season opener, they would be looking forward to carry the momentum and register their first victory against the Gaurs.
Northeast United FC would be really happy that seasoned striker, Katsumi Yusa has hit the ground running right from the word go. Though they won the game it was clear that they were still far from their best.
Alfaro and Cullen are both likely to be on the bench and the Reagan Singh, after a torrid game, seems to be in line to be replaced by Nirmal Chettri. Vingada would be sweating over the fitness of Seityasen Singh and his marquee signing Didier Zokora.
Goa have certainly been one of the better side of the Indian Super League over the past couple of seasons. Led by the legendary Zico, the Gaurs have a fluid and attacking style of play which is pleasing on the eye. They, however, have no silverware to show for their attractive style of play.They won 3 of their last 5 games in ISL last season which included a last minute devastating loss to Chennaiyin FC in the final.
With them starting their campaign on Tuesday, it would be interesting to see how they line up with their new signings Robin Singh and Julio Cesar. The latter was handpicked by Zico and is a dead-ball specialist with a thunderous left foot.
Robin Singh, who recently joined the club from Delhi Daynamos limped out of a training session recently and is a doubt for this match. Gregory Arnolin, Subhashish Row Chowdhury and Denzil Franco are injured too. The good news though, is that Raju Gaekwad has recovered from a knock in training. Romeo Fernandes and Mandar Rao Dessai could again be employed in the midfield. Lucio, the marquee signing will need to be at his best going into the game to keep the inform Katsumi Yusa out of the scoresheet.
PAL, GURUNG, GUSTAVO, MAILSON, SINGH, ROMARIĆ, BORGES, VÉLEZ, YUSA, NARZARY, ALFARO.
KATIMANI, LÙCIO, ARNOLIN, HALDER, DESSAI, SINGH, JOFRÈ, MOURA, FERNANDES, DUDU, RAFAEL COE.
With the season just starting, it is hard to say which player would have the most impact in the next 2 and a half months. But looking at his exploits in the last game, it would be not be surprising to see Katsumi Yusa staking his claim for the golden boot come the end of the season.
Keeping in mind FC Goa’s attacking style of play and NEUFC fledgling backline, it won’t be surprising to see the former get on the scoresheet. A scoreline of 2-0 in Goa’s favour seems the most probable outcome of this match.
You can catch all the action live on Star Sports 1,2,3 at 7 PM IST on 4th October, 2016.
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