The Highlanders will be coming into the Friday’s game unbeaten after six games, against the seventh-placed Jamshedpur FC. A victory will see Nus’s men reach level on points with the two table-toppers. After back-to-back draws, both teams will square off at Tilak Maidan, with a goal to grab full three points. This is a crucial fixture for our team, as we have found ourselves in a similar place last season – undefeated until six games then losing games to slip up the momentum. We cannot afford to drop points. We have the passion and the potential to claim the three points we thoroughly deserve!
North East United FC
Gerard Nus's men will look to maintain the consistency and convert their draws into wins. The team is well structured, defensively sturdy and improving in the mid-field seeing more of the ball in recent games. But the team needs to convert their chances, as was evident by Sylla’s misses in the last game, to become a formidable force going forward.
Gerard Nus will have all the names from the squad to pick up his best eleven, as Gallego returns to join the group in training. The defensive duo of Lambot and Fox is expected to start. The duty to dominate the middle of the park will be on Camara and the pride of the Highlanders – Apuia. The likes of Machado, Gallego, Rochharzela and Ninthoi will be the creative force, while there will a healthy competition between Sylla and Appiah to meet the balls and make them count.
“If we get the three points tomorrow, it will be the best (unbeaten) start for us, so looking forward to that," Nus said in the pre-match conference. The coach and the Highlanders are satisfied and happy with the team’s performance and improvement, and by remaining true to our identity we need the three points on the tally.
The Miners will enter into the contest after a resilient defensive display with ten men to salvage a point in their last game. Owen Coyle’s men will have an opportunity to enter the top 4, and are unbeaten since their defeat in the first game of the season. “We have enormous respect for them (NEUFC) but it's also a game we're looking forward to. We know that if we're at our very best, it's a game we can win." – the coach said in the pre-match interview.
Jamshedpur will be without the services of their playmaker Aitor Monroy. The headache for the North East defence, will be Nerijus Valskis who is in an impressive goal-scoring form this season. Jamshedpur is structured to give priority in their organizational defensive play and hitting the opposition back on counters. The familiar figure of Rehenesh TP will be in-between the sticks.
North East United FC and Jamshedpur FC have locked horns six times in the ISL, Jamshedpur coming up on top once and 5 games ending deadlocked. It will be a tactical showdown between the two master tacticians. There are many positives for the Highlanders going into this game as their star-man Gallego is set to return. If the team manages to win the game, it will be the Highlanders’ longest unbeaten streak in the league.