ISL 2016 - NorthEast United FC vs Kerala Blasters FC Predicted XI
The Probable Playing XI for both squads for the inaugural game of the campaign.
The Indian Super League is finally back for its third edition, after a year of layoff and it promises to be bigger and better than ever. The first game is always special, as they say, ‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression’, and as redundant as it might seem in terms of a Football League, it’s importance cannot be undermined.
India as a nation has enough football fans to trump the best. The average attendance of Kerala Blasters last season would have trumped all but two or three English clubs, and given it’s supposed to be the best league in the world, the Indians can’t be blamed for using it as a yardstick.
Fortunately or unfortunately, the football too will be judged by the same yardstick and today’s game will be integral to what the Indian Super League offers to fans in the long term. Given that, both the teams are likely to go with their strongest line-ups available to them.
NorthEast United FC Probable XI
NorthEast are probably one of the most supported of the ISL clubs, the tickets for their games at Guwahati sell out faster than you can say the word ‘NorthEast’. To be honest, the franchise will be aiming for much better than they did in the last two seasons of the ISL, and as John Abraham reiterated “This year, we hope to go one step further and at least make the semis. We will see where we go from there".
What NorthEast also possess is a very well rounded squad, starting from the goalkeeping squad, which is sure to cause a headache for the main man at Guwahati, Nelo Vingada. He is likely to go with a 4-2-3-1 formation with the players at his disposal.
The Portuguese manager is virtually assured a headache for the rest of the season as they have two excellent goalkeepers in Rahnesh and the effervescent Subrata Paul. But, with his performances in the previous two editions of the League, Rahnesh is likely to get the nod.
The defence has an excellent mix of youth and experience, but they will miss Salam Ranjan Singh as he still with Bengaluru FC, as the Bangalore outfit is set to play the second leg of the AFC Cup semi-finals on 19th of October.
Shouvik Ghosh and Reagan Singh are likely to get the nod for full-back positions, with Gustavo Gustavo Lazzaretti and Mailson Alves as the center-back pairing. The defence should be well protected by the likes of captain and marquee signing Zakora ably supported by former Sevilla midfielder N’dri.
Mohun Bagan captain Katsumi Yusa is likely to be the man playing in the hole behind the lone man up-front Nico Velez, flanked by Indian Internationals Holicharan Narzary and Saityasen Singh.
Sasha Aneff is injured, and Fabio Neves has been ruled out of the competition.