NorthEast United got off to a brilliant start, defeating Kerala Blasters in the opening day of ISL 2016. They will be keen to clinch another three points as they are set to face FC Goa, who will be playing their first game of the season at Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati.
The first match of ISL 2016 not have been interesting, but we need to remember that the season has just started. ISL 2016 will hot up after teams get their formation and combinations right.
NorthEast United must play some solid football against FC Goa, who are one of the favourites for the competition, and coach Nelo Vingada is aware of the need to be consistent in order to reach the knockout stages.
"There is plenty of scope for improvement. We have to play better to reach the semis which is my target and of my players, so we have to be more consistent. If we don't grow up and play better, it won't be enough," Press Trust of India quoted Vingada as saying.
Marquee player Didier Zokora is not expected to start the match against FC Goa, but may come in as a substitute like the first match. Vingada is expected to start with a similar team, which defeated Kerala. That is a wise move as the players will develop an understanding as quickly as possible.
"For me this was the best eleven which I could use for the game because some players are injured and most of the players are not fully fit for 90 minutes as they are only 70% fit. But I am satisfied with the foreign players and I am also very happy with the Indian boys," Vingada said.
The NorthEast club have always received massive support at the home turf and the same is expected when their team face FC Goa, who will want to silence the home team with a good start. FC Goa have always been a strong team in the competition, and narrowly missed out on the title last season. Coach Zico does not want to think about what happened in the past, and rather concentrate on the competition ahead.
"Every year is a different story. We don't worry too much about what happened in the past. We just play for now and play to win, regardless of the opponent," goal.com quoted Zico as saying.
Under the Brazilian coach, a team full of players from South American nation, FC Goa will always be a side, which will have flair, making it for an entertaining view. Besides the foreign players, they have a good mix of Indian players, but one of their key stars Robin Singh has been ruled out due to injury during the warm-up. They will also miss Gregory Arnolin, Subhasish Roy Chowdhury, Luciano Sobrosa and Denzil Franco.
"Robin (Singh) played in all the matches (pre-season friendlies) in Brazil but after arriving here he had some problem in his hamstring during a warm-up. These are things that happen in football. Denzil (Franco) had some muscle problems there (in Brazil) but we will take care of that," Zico said.
With NorthEast United having opened their points tally, FC Goa will also hope to do the same, and get their ISL 2016 going in a positive manner.
Where to watch live
NorthEast United FC vs FC Goa is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. IST (2:30 p.m. BST, 9:30 am ET).
India: TV - Star Sports 1/HD, Star Sports 2/HD (English) Star Sports 3/HD, Star Gold, Star Utsav (Hindi). Jalsha Movies (Bengali). Asianet Movies (Malayalam). Asianet Suvarna Plus (Kannada).
Live streaming - Hotstar.
Europe: TV - Star Gold.
Australia, USA: TV - Fox Sports
Canada: TV - CBN, ATN Bangla
Bangladesh: TV - Channel 9
South-East Asia: TV - Eurosport