The Men in Red return to action against our Southern and arguably the biggest rivals in the Indian Top flight, Chennaiyin FC.
Northeast United FC
The race for the top 4 has started heating up and a big challenge awaits Coach Khalid and Alison in the form of Chennaiyin FC. They come into our 18th fixture on the back of a 3-1 victory as Odisha were torn to shreds by the Highlanders despite going down to 10 men. A Brace by Luis Machado, some Brown Mania, and King Gallego's magic helped Northeast United take a step forward towards the all-important playoff spot. Coach Khalid has given this team the much-needed push and belief ever since taking over the hot seat and the players have not disappointed him. We will miss the services of Gurjinder Kumar who will be out due to suspension as he saw a red card in our previous outing. However, that opens up the door for Lakra who has been impressive lately. Nothing less than 3 points will do for the Highlanders if they want to increase the gap between them and the chasing pack for a playoff berth.
"I think we have to be prepared. We should not take it easy. Like the last game, the players have put in a lot of effort. They have shown determination, they have shown character on the pitch. They have done very well. So, I hope tomorrow they will continue with the same spirit and we will try our best to win," said assistant coach Alison Kharsyntiew at the pre-match press conference.
The Marina Machans are mathematically out of the playoffs race and will have nothing to lose when they face the Highlanders but still are a major threat on any given day. Back in December, a 0-0 draw at the Tilak Maidan saw both sides share a point each. Chennaiyin comes into this game following a 2-2 draw against FC Goa where an injury-time equalizer shattered their playoff hopes. Defensively, they possess one of the strongest backlines in the league as they have just let in 19 goals in 18 matches so far. But, things on the other end are completely different as their forward line has failed to deliver despite having some big names in the Hero ISL and have just found the back of the net on 13 occasions, the lowest in the league.
It's the Highlands versus the Marina Machans! Let's get that W!
Up the Highlanders!
We Walk Through This Together