The former Champions, Bengaluru, will be squaring off against season’s underdogs, Northeast, in the Tuesday encounter of the Indian Football League 2020-21. Both sides earned three points from its previous matches by keeping a clean-sheet.
Match Timings: Dec 08, 7:30 PM IST
Sunil Chhetri finally scored the goal in season 2020-21, and when he scores, Bengaluru always gets three points. After dropping four points from the first two games, the Blues finally got its first victory. The Bengaluru skipper was in poor form in his first two games, and against Chennai, he looked more involved. The first half ended without any scoring, and in the 56th minute, the Blues were awarded a penalty when Edwin Vanspaul brought down Cleiton Silva inside the box. Sunil Chhetri used this golden opportunity to give the Blues a 1-0 lead. Sunil Chhetri was in poor form in his first two games of the season. Today he had more part to play as he got more involved in the game. The Bengaluru goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu denied Chennai any chance of scoring with some crucial saves.
The Blues now have five points from three games, and its best game is yet to be seen. Former champions haven’t showcased their brand of football. They shared the spoils with Goa despite taking an early 2-0 advantage. In the second game, they failed to break Hyderabad’s defense. Their Indian forward line has been inconsistent and was unable to live up to expectations. Carles Cuadrat needs to find out the solution. Indian national team winger Udanta Singh was dropped from the previous game. Ashique is not finding his best form at left-back. Despite the victory in the last game, Carles Cuadrat’s men require some more depth in its forward line. Dimas Delgado came as the substitute in the first two games, and Cuadrat would give him another game to play from the start.
Meanwhile, Northeast is having a dream start to season 2020-21. After four matches, they are unbeaten and picked up eight points from a possible 12. In the previous encounter, they overcame I-League giants East Bengal 2-0. Bengal’s start was pretty bad as Ashutosh Mehta earned a yellow card in just the second minute. In the 33rd minute, Surchandra Singh scored an own goal to give an early lead to Northeast. A low cross struck Surchandra Singh and went past goalkeeper Debjit Majumder’s hand. Balwant Singh got a chance to equalise for East Bengal, but he couldn’t, and the first half ended. In the second half, Northeast controlled the attack through Apuia and Appiah. Bengal called for a penalty twice, but the referee refused, and it showed the utter disappointment level of the Kolkata club. Northeast doubled its lead after VP Suhair provided the assist to Rochharzela with a superb cross.
Benjamin Lambot earned all the attention of the Highlanders. The Belgian center-back blocked several crucial shots and restricted Maghoma and Pilkington to score. Mashoor Shereef has also provided exemplary assistance in the absence of Dylan Fox. Gerard Nus has changed Northeast compared to the previous editions. One more win can give them a spot on the top of the table. Nus need to tighten its forward line to attack Bengaluru’s solid defense.
Possible Lineups & Current Form
Lineup: Gurmeet Singh, Ashutosh Mehta, Benjamin Lambot, Dylan Fox, Gurjinder Kumar, Khassa Camara, Lalengmawia (C), Kwesi Appiah, Ninthoinganba Meetei, Luis Machado, Idrissa Sylla
Current form – WD D W
Previous outing: 2-0 victory against East Bengal
Lineup: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Harmanjot Khabra, Rahul Bheke, Juanan, Ashique Kuruniyan, Dimas Delgado, Erik Paartalu, Cleiton Silva, Sunil Chhetri (C), Udanta Singh, Deshorn Brown
Current form – WD D
Previous outing: 1-0 victory over Chennai
4 goals in League One 2019-20
2 goal in Indian Football League 2020-21
2 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21
9 goals in Indian Football League 2019-20
1 goal in the current season
1 goal in Indian Football League 2020-21