ISL 2019-20: Bengaluru FC vs NorthEast United FC| Match preview, predictions, live streaming & where to watch details
A rematch of last season's Indian Super League semi-final, NorthEast United FC will hope to overturn last time's result at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Monday, 21st October against Bengaluru FC. After a month-long pre-season and friendlies with state and national division sides, the Indian football season is finally up and running for the ISL teams.
Both Bengaluru and NorthEast United have had a wide range of change in personnel. New signings like Asamoah Gyan, Maximilliano Barreiro, Martin Chaves and Kai Heerings have made the Highlanders a more balanced and compact side. Bengaluru FC have also brought in Raphael Augusto and Ashique Kuruniyan to fill the gap left by Miku's and Xisco Hernandez's departure.
Carles Cuadrat also has the likes of Ajay Chetri, Kean Lewis, Edmund Lalrindika and Semboi Haokip to rotate into the team when the games come thick and fast as the season progresses. NorthEast United also boast of a side comprising of talented Indian names. Milan Singh, Lalthathanga Khawlhring, Lalengmawia, Ninthoi and Provat Lakra being few of them. Along with the player roster, the Highlanders have also brought in Robert Jarni as head coach in place of an outgoing Eelco Schattorie.
The tie will only be the second game of the season and hence is expected to be a slow affair with both sides being wary early on.
Bengaluru vs NorthEast United: Match information
Date: 21st October, 2019.
Kick-off: 7:30 PM IST.
Live stream: Star Sports Network and Hotstar
Live commentary: Will be updated
Venue: Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru
Bengaluru vs NorthEast United: Team News
All the players are fit to play the game. Rahul Bheke was initially injured but as he appeared for the Blue Tigers against Bangladesh in Kolkata, he is deemed match fit. Carles Cuadrat has the entire squad at his disposal. Sunil Chhetri and Udanta Singh are expected to lead the attacking front with Ashique Kuruniyan, Manuel Omwu and Raphael Augusto taking turns to be the third man upfront.
Experienced campaigners Eric Paartulu and Dimas Delgado will feature in the middle of the park. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu is all set to be between the sticks as per ritual with his defence being led by Juanan.
NorthEast United FC
No injuries or suspensios from the previous season plague the Highlanders. Jarni has the entire squad to pick the team from. Asamoah Gyan is expected to partner with Maximilliano Barriera and Martin Chaves. Nikhil Kadam and Panagiotis Triadis will be on the wings with Jose Leudo and Kai Heerings at the back. Pawan Kumar will guard the goal instead of the regular Rehenesh TP who has joined Kerala Blasters.
Bengaluru FC vs NorthEast United FC: Probable line-ups
Bengaluru (4-2-3-1): Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK), Rahul Bheke, Albert Serran, Juanan, Nishu Kumar, Dimas Delgado, Eric Paartulu, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Udanta Singh, Sunil Chhetri, Manuel Onwu
NorthEast United (4-2-3-1): Pawan Kumar (GK), Reagan Singh, Kai Heerings, Mislav Komorski, Shovik Ghosh, Leudo, Puitea, Ninthoi, Chaves, Nikhil Kadam, Asamoah Gyan
Bengaluru FC vs NorthEast United FC: Form guide
NorthEast United: D-D-W-L-L
Bengaluru FC vs NorthEast United FC: Head-to-head
Bengaluru 4-1 NorthEast United (1 Draw)
Bengaluru FC vs NorthEast United FC: Key players
Bengaluru FC's newest signing Raphael Augusto from Chennaiyin FC has been the talk of the town since his move Augusto spent three seasons at Chennaiyin and was a fan favourite. His unprecedented move to Bengaluru shocked many. Augusto is an attacking midfielder with excellent ball distribution skills. He can find the smallest gaps in the opposition defence to play the forwards through.
The Brazilian can be very useful for Carles Cuadrat's side to change gears in the final third and set-up Chhetri and Co. for the finishing touches. Ashique Kuruniyan on the left wing will also be one of the Blues to look forward to. Kuruniyan shifted from Pune to Bengaluru and is ready to partner Chhetri and Udanta upfront to probably form the league's only all Indian attacking trio.
NorthEast United FC
When someone as talented and experienced as Asamoah Gyan plays in the middle, it makes wingplay extremely essential. Panagiotis Triadis and Nikhil Kadam on both the wings will be tasked with supplying inch-perfect passes to Gyan. If United somehow keep setting up Gyan in front of the goal, they should come out as outright winners. Given the Ghanaian's quality with the ball, he should score most of the chances created from open play.
Martin Chaves and Maximiliano Barreiro will also be important names for the Highlanders. They will be upfront with Gyan to establish a triangular link in front of the Bengaluru goal in order to allow the wingers to stretch their area of convergence to deliver in perfect crosses.
Bengaluru FC vs NorthEast United FC: Predictions
Both the sides are a lot different from the previous season. NorthEast do not feature their leading attackers Federico Gallego and Bartholomew Ogbeche due to specific reasons. Bengaluru is without their leading goalscorer from last season, Miku. However, new additions like Augusto and Gyan have supplemented both the sides in distinct fashion.
The game is going to a very close affair with neither side running out as outright winners. Given the attacking options both the teams possess, a good number goals will be scored. With the home support, Bengaluru may just emerge as close winners.
Predicted Score - Bengaluru 2-1 NorthEast United