Tonight the Highlanders clash with the defending champions, ATK in a crucial encounter in the last match concluding the first half of the season. For both sides, full points out of this game are an absolute necessity. Its a home game for Northeast United FC.
NUFC come into this game on the back of a hardfought win over quality opposition, FC Goa while ATK arrive on the back of one last match loss to BFC and a lackluster drawn game with FC Goa. It aint gonna be a very thrilling game to watch having seen these two sides struggle the way they have over the past few games. Both sides lack in goal scoring abilities and lack of form in their strikers haven’t helped their cause. Adding to the woes of ATK would be Irish stalwart Robbie Keane’s ankle injury. NUFC will have an upper hand in Marcinho and Danilo Lopez upfront stitching up good attacks along with Seminel Doungel from the right who looked in good touch in the last match under new NUFC coach, former Chelsea manager, Avram Grant. For ATK to shine would mean the likes of Zequinha to fire playing in the right wings and Bipin acquiring the left side of the pitch putting in pegging crosses into the box. Ryan Taylor has to find a combination with Conor Thomas in the middle to supply deliveries through to bits & pieces players like that of Hitesh and Robin taking up responsibilities of getting the team on board tonight. Tom Thorpe & Jordi Figueras has to lead the defense line well to prevent NUFC from scoring even a single goal as that would mean added pressure on this side which has failed to carve out openings easily from time to time.
A good win for any side among the two playing tonight can help them procure some sort of revival in this year’s league else it can end up being a season to just play for pride and hope against hope to chase the unlikely in the games to come after this. Former Man U player, ATK manager Teddy has to pull out some tricks out of his sleeve to overturn ATK’s season with immediate effect else it could surely attract chants like #TeddyOut in the following games incurring sorry fate like that of a departing Kerala Blaster’s coach or an ex NUFC coach.
ATK Key Players: Zequinha, Taylor
NUFC Key Players: Marcinho, Danilo Lopez
HEAD TO HEAD STATS:
Total games played: 6
ATK won 3 while NUFC won 2
1 Game was Drawn.