ISL 2019-20, Match Highlights, Kerala Blasters FC vs NorthEast United FC: Bartholomew Ogbeche, Asamoah Gyan score in 1-1 draw

  • Kerala Blasters FC will be desperate to end their eight-game winless streak when they take on hosts NorthEast United in their Indian Super League encounter on Saturday

  • Since last season, Kerala have only secured 14 points from 14 home matches and the last three of them have finished in draws

  • They are coming off a demoralizing 1-3 defeat to rivals Chennaiyin FC and Schattorie will be eager for a win over his former side


Click here to follow all the live action from the Indian Super League match between Kerala Blasters FC and NorthEast United FC.

Preview: Kerala Blasters FC will be desperate to end their eight-game winless streak when they take on hosts NorthEast United in their Indian Super League encounter on Saturday.

Blasters similarly had gone on a 14-match drought after their season opener in the previous year as well, which cost them dearly. With just seven points from nine games, Eelco Schattorie's team have been poor at home as well, despite enjoying strong fan support.

Since last season, Kerala have only secured 14 points from 14 home matches and the last three of them have finished in draws.

They are coming off a demoralizing 1-3 defeat to rivals Chennaiyin FC and Schattorie will be eager for a win over his former side.

Thankfully, captain Bartholomew Ogbeche, who was NorthEast United's top scorer last season before following Schattorie to Kerala, is expected to feature on Saturday. Though he has struggled to replicate his free-scoring form from last season, Ogbeche is still a potent force in attack.

Kerala's defence has not been performing any better. A lack of stability has resulted in them keeping just one clean-sheet so far and that too came against a misfiring Odisha side.

Their midfield also has looked pedestrian at times and the injury to Sergio Cidoncha has not helped matters. Sahal Abdul Samad, a creative outlet in midfield, has surprisingly been restricted to substitute appearances.

Mario Arques will have to shoulder the responsibility of keeping the midfield ticking against NorthEast.

"I can't deny that if you play against your old club, there will be certain dynamics. But I am only focusing on our team at the moment. We have to focus on bouncing back from the last game. Hopefully, (NorthEast's form) is an advantage for us, we are playing at home. I saw a few games of theirs where they got results with a bit of luck," said Schattorie.

NorthEast United have also floundered after making a good start to the campaign. A winless run of four games has left them sixth on the table with 10 points.

Their attack has suffered in the absence of star striker Asamoah Gyan who had been injured for a while.

They have just scored the least amount of goals in the league so far (8) and with a solitary goal from the last three games. The return to fitness of Federico Gallego should help them create more chances in front of goal, should he feature in the game.

Robert Jarni's side also have their share of problems at the back. Individual errors have cost them dearly, especially because of the fact that they do not score enough goals.

They have conceded eight goals in the last four matches in comparison to just three in their first four games.

The likes of Mislav Komorski and Nim Dorjee Tamang need to improve drastically while more consistency will be expected from young players like Redeem Tlang and Lalthathanga Khawlhring.

"There are three teams whose style is very good, but with that style, they are not able to get results. But once the season is over, no one remembers the style, it's all about the points," said Jarni as he emphasized on the importance to get results over style of play.

NorthEast United will be eager to pull one over their former coach Eelco Schattorie and pile more misery on him. At the opposing camp, the Dutchman will be contemplating strategies to revive their season with a win over his former team.

For the full Indian Super League schedule, click here

For all the results from this Indian Super League season, click here

For the Indian Super League points table, click here

With inputs from PTI

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

Updated Date: Dec 28, 2019 21:30:02 IST