Goa vs NorthEast United: Preview and Prediction

Sixth-placed Goa will host NorthEast United up next, who are rock-bottom in the table

After beating high flyers Odisha 3-0 at home, Goa will look to continue to build momentum as they next host bottom-placed NorthEast United at the Fatorda Stadium on Saturday.

The Gaurs rode on a five-star performance from Noah Sadaoui who scored one and assisted the remaining two goals to inspire his side past the Juggernauts. On the other hand, the Highlanders lost 7-3 against Chennaiyin under the tutelage of new head coach Vincenzo Alberto Annese. 

Having lost all of their nine games in the league so far, the Guwahati-based club will look to pick up their first points of the season, while Carlos Pena’s side will hope to rise up from the sixth place in the league standings. It has been a difficult campaign so far for the club that is rock bottom in the table, conceding 25 goals while scoring only 7 goals at the other end. 

Current Form

The Goan outfit has endured some mixed results of late, after beginning their league campaign brightly. Pena’s men started their season with a 2-1 win over East Bengal, followed by a 2-0 win over the Marina Machans. 

Their first defeat of the season came against Hyderabad, and since then they’ve been lacking consistency. A 3-0 win over Jamshedpur was followed by a 3-1 defeat against Kerala Blasters, the Gaurs bounced back to winning ways again, beating ATK Mohun Bagan 3-0, but then they lost consecutive matches against Bengaluru and Mumbai City. 

There were signs of promise in their most recent outing, which ended in a 3-0 win, but the Fatorda-based club must keep the winning run going if they are to go further in the league. 

As far as their opponents are concerned, their season has just kept getting from bad to worse. The club co-owned by John Abraham are currently on a nine-match losing streak, having failed to open its account so far. 

The Highlanders began their campaign with a 0-1 loss to Bengaluru, followed by a 0-3 reverse against the defending champions, a 3-1 defeat versus the Red and Golds and then a narrow 0-1 loss to the Men of Steel. 

The Blasters proved too good for them as they won 3-0, followed by a 2-1 reverse at the hands of the Mariners. The Islanders prevailed 3-1 over them, while Odisha won 2-1 and in Alberto Annese’s first match in charge the club endured a 7-3 loss against the Marina Machans. 

Head-to-Head Record

Previous fixtures between these two clubs have been evenly matched but the Gaurs still hold the upper hand having won on 5 occasions, while the Highlanders have won thrice, whereas, 8 matches between them ended in a draw. In their last meeting, the two sides played out a 1-1 draw whereas the reverse fixture earlier last season was won by the Guwahati-based club. 

Team News

Coach Pena has a full roster available to choose from after Edu Bedia completed his suspension having missed the match against Odisha after collecting a red card. Dheeraj Singh will continue between the sticks, behind the settled back four of Seriton Fernandes, Fares Arnaout, Anwar Ali, and Aibanbha Dohling. 

Glan Martins played well in Bedia’s absence but the Spaniard will most likely return back to his favoured position, alongside Ayush, while Redeem Tlang, Iker Guarrotxena, and Brandon Fernandes will look to continue their brilliant link-up play with Noah who has been one of the best players in the season so far. 

On the other hand, it will be interesting to see if Alberto Annese makes any changes to the playing XI which he named in his first match in charge. Arindam Bhattacharya is expected to keep his place between the sticks, while Gaurav Bora, Mashoor Shereef, Michael Jakobsen, and Gurjinder Kumar are likely to marshal the defense. 

Aaron Evans, Emil Benny, and Jithin Madathil Subran may continue in the middle of the park behind an attacking trio of Parthib Sundar Gogoi, Wilmar Jordan, and Romain Philippoteaux. 

Predicted Starting XIs

Goa (4-2-3-1): Dheeraj Singh; Seriton Fernandes, Fares Arnaout, Anwar Ali, Aibanbha Dohling; Ayush Chhetri, Edu Bedia; Redeem Tlang, Iker Guarrotxena, Brandon Fernandes; Noah Sadaoui. 

NorthEast United (4-3-3): Arindam Bhattacharya; Gaurav Bora, Mashoor Shereef, Michael Jakobsen, Gurjinder Kumar; Aaron Evans, Emil Benny, Jithin Madathil Subran; Parthib Sundar Gogoi, Wilmar Jordan, Romain Philippoteaux. 


Given the stark contrast in form of the two teams, certainly, the Gaurs will start the match as overwhelming favourites to take all 3 points in front of their home crowd. The Highlanders were much improved under their new coach, but they are likely to have a hard time at the Fatorda where Pena’s men have only lost just once all season.