quinta-feira, 20 de outubro de 2016
Preview: Table-toppers NorthEast take on reigning champions Chennaiyin
NorthEast United FC will look to extend their winning run at home in the 2016 Hero Indian Super League when they host defending champions Chennaiyin FC at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium on Thursday. The Highlanders will be heading into the match as table-toppers having begun their campaign with two home wins against Kerala Blasters FC (1-0) and FC Goa (2-0). They will be looking for their third successive win at home against Chennai this season on Thursday. The Super Machans, meanwhile, had a stuttering start with a draw against Atlético de Kolkata (2-2) and then a defeat to Delhi (1-3) at home. But they seemed to have reignited their season with a win over Goa (2-0) in their last match, making the clash against the Highlanders anyone’s game.
Head to head: NorthEast have always had the upper-hand with a 2-2 draw at Chennai and a 3-0 win at Guwahati in Hero ISL 2014. The trend continued with 2-0 and 1-2 victories for the Highlanders in Hero ISL 2015.
NorthEast United FC: W-W-L-W-D
Chennayin FC: D-L-W
Didier Zokora vs Davide Succi
Didier Zokora’s versatility has helped the Highlanders overcome a difficult situation after first-choice centre-back Mailson Alves picked up an injury in the opening week of the season. The former Ivory Coast international has slotted in seamlessly at the back alongside skipper Gustavo Lazzaretti and has tightened things up in defence to turn NorthEast into the meanest defence in the league thus far.
Davide Succi may not have the goals to show for his efforts during the early stages of the season, but the Italian seems to be coming into his own as the league progresses. The opportunistic striker has goals looming just around the corner and the possibility of doing it against the table-toppers might just be the perfect stage for him to announce his arrival to the rest of the league.
Katsumi Yusa vs Hans Mulder
Katsumi Yusa kick-started Hero ISL 2016 with a well-timed run down the middle to score the winner in the opening encounter of this season against the Blasters. Since then, his movement on and off the ball as well as his penetrating runs down the flanks has become crucial to his team’s success. A team player, his workhorse-like nature makes him the perfect fit for Highlanders’ style of play.
Mulder has been an influential presence in Chennaiyin’s midfield and has already found the back of the net twice this year. His positive and penetrative surges from midfield has helped the reigning champions secure valuable points in their previous matches. With goals, assists and interceptions galore, Hulder has already cemented his first-teamer status for Chennai under Marco Materazzi this season.
Emiliano Alfaro vs John Arne Riise
Emiliano Alfaro has donned the role of talisman for the Highlanders in Hero ISL 2016. Leading the goal-scoring charts with four strikes already, the Uruguayan’s exploits in the opposition’s penalty box is one of the main reasons behind Nelo Vingada’s men topping the table in the early stages of the season. A constant threat to the opponent defenders, Alfaro will be hoping to add to his goal tally against Chennai.
John Arne Riise has been solid in the Chennaiyin backline and it came to the fore front in their last encounter against Goa, where the Norwegian showed all his big-match experience and discipline in defence to protect his side’s two-goal lead. His towering presence during set-pieces and his lethal shot from distance can prove to be the difference in close encounters.
NorthEast United FC: Subrata Paul, TP Rehenesh, Wellington Gomes, Salam Ranjan Singh, Nirmal Chettri, Shouvik Ghosh, Robin Gurung, Reagan Singh, Mailson Alves, Gustavo Lazzaretti, Didier Zokora, Fanai Lalrempuia, Holicharan Narzary, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Katsumi Yusa, Koffi Christian N'dri, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Rowllin Borges, Seityasen Singh, Wellington Priori, Romaric, Emiliano Alfaro, Nicolas Velez, Sasha Aneff, Robert Cullen, Sumeet Passi
Chennaiyin FC: Karanjit Singh, Pawan Kumar, Duwayne Kerr, Bernard Mendy, Mehrajuddin Wadoo, Nallappan Mohanraj, Eli Sabia, Eder Monterio, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Abhishek Das, John Arne Riise, Baljit Sahni, Hans Mulder, Manuele Blasi, Thoi Singh, Raphael Augusto, Harmanjot Singh Khabra, Dhanpal Ganesh, Davide Succi, Maurizio Peluso, Bedashwor Singh, Uttam Rai, Jeje Lalpekhlua