The day is here! North-East United FC faces the newcomers SC East Bengal in a feisty battle in Tilak Maidan where both the teams would be thirsty for a win. East Bengal has history when it comes to the Highlands, previous plying it's trade in the illustrious Bordoloi Trophy. However, this time, they face a united bunch of resilient men when they take on the pitch for the very first time in the Hero ISL. The demography of NE has shades of red and gold and would be interesting to see how the encounter pans out among the fans of both sides. While the Highlanders would like to gain their second win of the season, East Bengal would like to deny them the opportunity and hit them with their first loss. Robbie Fowler versus Gerard Nus. Fox and Lambot versus Jeje and Pilkington. A midfield tussle between Loken Meitei and Apuia. This draw is oozing with delicious battle and the whole country will be looking forward to it.
The followers of East Bengal prioritise their linguistic identity over other identities. Therefore any cultural symbol associated with it becomes a matter of significance. East Bengal Football Club as a culture, has become a surrogate religion for them and no wonder, the century old club resonates so much emotions. Across the public and private spheres of life, East Bengal FC has unified generations into the colours of red and gold. They will most definitely look to bounce back from the two defeats, a recent comprehensive loss against Mumbai City and stamp their mark in the league. Whereas North-East United will look to convert those draws into a win after two consecutive stalemates. Coach Gerard Nus has been particularly full of praise for his team's perseverance, in contrast to Robbie Fowler's open criticism of his own set of Indian players.
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT
For the home team, Highlanders will hope for a continued scoring streak for both their Strikers. Moreover a potential inclusion of the magician Gallego is something everyone is looking forward to. Added to that, the solid defensive trio of Fox, Lambot and Camara would be quintessential for their team. Of course, prodigal star Apuia would like to continue his impressive form.
For the away side, Fowler would like to see a better quality in both the ends of the pitch, with Balwant going under a rough patch and a potential loss of Fox in defence. While the midfield of Loken and Steinmann looked impressive, it is Pilkington who would be one to keep an eye on.
This clash between the hills and the Sea would definitely be one worth watching as the fans on both sides have started off with a wry interaction to the build up of the game. However, many fans have admiration for each other as well, where the Highlanders have the respect for the legacy of its opponents, the 'Bangals' have the awe for the resurgence football culture in the hills alongside producing some talented prodigies for Indian football.
Up the Highlanders
We Walk Through This Together