An upbeat North-East United FC will be eyeing a victory as they host Odisha FC at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati today (Saturday). After holding defending champions and title contenders Bengaluru FC scoreless in their season opener on Monday, the NE United will like to settle for nothing less than a victory.
Odisha FC, the new avatar of now defunct Delhi Dynamos who are playing the ISL 2019-20 with a new home ground and new identity, have gone down 1-2 to Jamshedpur FC on their ISL debut.
Technically it’s the first meeting between the two teams. The Bhubaneswar-based team, in their previous avatar as the Delhi Dynamos in two meetings NE United had won once and managed to enforce a draw in the other game. They will be eager to make amendments and score their maiden win in the ISL, which to has got off to a new high in its maiden season as India’s premier club football competition.
As the Highlanders enjoy the favourites tag, Odisha will have to make each opportunity count for pulling off a surprise win. They in the previous game have failed to deal with the challenge even when Jamshedpur had played with only ten men.
Coach Josep Gombau still defends his strategy. “We have our own way to play. We respect the team we are playing against a lot. We’re satisfied with our players. We discussed the result (against Jamshedpur) with all players. We had a few chances, but we couldn’t score,” says the coach.
North East United head coach Robert Jarni is upbeat with the teams showing against the might of Bengaluru FC. “I am happy with the point (against Bengaluru FC). The team worked hard against the defending champions. Now at home, we will look to play more attacking football. We are ready for that kind of football as well,” said Jarni.
However, the Croatian will want his forward line to start converting chances. With Uruguayan attacking midfielder Martin Chaves looking sharp against Bengaluru, star striker Asamoah Gyan can again expect good service.
The teams do not have any major fitness concerns and can be expected to have a go at each other and grab that all-important first win of the season.
The match is scheduled to start at 7:30 pm. The LIVE broadcast with a preview show will start half an hour early on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 Hindi HD, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Sports 1 Kannada, Star Sports 1 Bangla.
The feed will also be streamed simultaneously on Hotstar and JioTV.