Guwahati, Nov 19 (IANS) After suffering humiliation in their previous matches, NorthEast United FC and Mumbai City FC both will be craving for a win when they face off in an Indian Super League (ISL) football match at the Indira Gandhi Stadium here on Friday.
Hosts NorthEast United will also look to avenge their first-leg loss against Mumbai, when they went down 1-5 on October 28. After getting thrashed 0-7 by FC Goa on Tuesday, Mumbai currently stand on the sixth spot with 12 points from 10 games — won three, drawn three and lost four. NorthEast also come into the match after 1-4 loss to Delhi Dynamos and are placed one place ahead on the points table in the fifth spot with 13 points from 10 games — won four, drawn one and lost five.
After a sloppy start to the season, the Nicolas Anekla-managed side made amends by coming back with a couple of wins but their recent win-less record is something to worry about. After getting hammered by Goa in every aspect of the game, the coach-cum-marquee-player Anelka will aim to regroup his boys and do something different in the crucial away match.
India skipper Sunil Chhetri, who is the tournament’s leading scorer with six goals, failed to make an impact in the last two matches and will be raring to deliver for the team on Friday. The absence of key winger Sony Norde, who is away on national duty for Haiti, will surely be felt considering the inspiring form he was in the current season.
Anelka will have to get his demoralised boys inspired as the team needs to get back to winning ways to qualify for the semi-finals. NorthEast United’s coach Cesar Farias, who had managed to instill confidence in the team a couple of matches back, has to ensure his team does the right things on the particular day. The hosts have looked solid ever since defender Andre Bikey joined them. The focus will be on the 30-year-old Cameroon international as they attempt to shut out Chhetri and Anelka.