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Northeast vs Kerala, Indian Football League 2020-21, Match Preview

Playoff contender Northeast will lock horns against Kerala tonight in Indian Football League 2020-21. The victory will assure the playoff qualification for Highlanders. 

Match Timings: Feb 26, 7:30 PM IST 

Team Preview 

Indian Football League, 2020-21, is in its final stage, and three top-encounters are left out of four. Goa, Hyderabad, and Northeast are fighting for the playoffs. Mumbai and Mariners both have qualified for the playoffs, and they will fight for the shield trophy on Sunday. Highlanders have strong chances after Hyderbad’s draw against Mariners. Northeast are coming off a 2-1 victory against Bengal, and it boosted their top-four chances. The first half ended without any scoring from both sides. Northeast started the second half on a positive note and gained the lead in the 47th minute through the VP Suhair strike. Sarthak Golui's own goal doubled the lead for Highlanders. Bengal fought for the late comeback, and in the 86th minute, Sarthak Golui's header gives the first goal to the Gold and Reds. 

With the interim coach, Northeast improved their strategy. Highlanders are now unbeaten from the last eight matches, and their last defeat came on January 08 against Hyderabad. The current form put Highlanders ahead in the race of playoffs. The shield winner will take on the fourth-placed team in the two-legged semifinal in March. Northeast will avoid this talk and, first, qualify for the playoffs. The equation is pretty clear for them. Northeast have to defeat Kerala and earn three points to finish with 33 points. The victory will book their place in the playoffs, and the result of the Hyderabad-Goa game will not affect this. If Northeast loses tonight, they would hope for a defeat of Hyderabad against Goa, or the match ends in a draw. 

Meanwhile, Kerala’s campaign is over, and they will play its final match of season 2020-21. For the successive year, two-times finalists have failed to qualify for the playoffs. They were held for a 1-1 draw with Chennai in the last outing. Chennai took the lead in the 10th minute through a maiden goal from Fatkhulo Fatkhulloev. Kerala looked better after conceding an early goal, and Jordan Murray came close through Gary Hopper’s pass, but Vishal Kaith dived low to his right to made a fine save. Kerela was awarded a penalty in the 29th minute, and Hooper equalised for Yellow Army. In the 80th minute, Chennai went down to ten men when Enes Sipovic was booked for a second time. Kerala didn’t avail any chance in the end and the southern derby ended in a 1-1 draw. Odisha conceded 39 goals, and six goals came in the last game with Mumbai. Before this game, Kerala had conceded most goals this season which is the worst record for a good side. Kerala would aim for a better finish, but they have to play better Football tonight to outplay in-form Northeast. 

Possible Lineups & Current Form 

Northeast 

Subhasish Roy; Provat Lakra, Dylan Fox, Benjamin Lambot, Nim Dorjee, Khassa Camara, Imran Khan, Lalengmawia, Suhair Vadakkepeedika, Luis Machado, Deshorn Brown 

Current Form: W D W D D 

Previous Match: 2-1 victory against Bengal 

Kerala 

Albino Gomes; Lalruatthara, Abdul Hakku, Bakary Kone, Denechandra Meetei, Sahal Abdul Samad, Vicente Gomez, Juande, Rahul KP, Gary Hooper, Jordan Murray

Current Form: D L D

Previous Match: 1-1 draw with Chennai 

Key Players 

Northeast 

Luis Machado 

7 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21 

Deshorn Brown 

5 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21 

Kerala 

Jordan Murray 

7 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21 

Gary Hooper 

5 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21

MyTeam11 Desk
MyTeam11 Desk
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