Goa vs NorthEast United: Preview and Prediction

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The Gaurs are on the verge of capturing the table-toppers crown

After a two-day halt, the extravagant caravan of the 2023-24 Indian Super League will be returning with the Matchday 16 chapter. On the opening day of the 16th Matchday, we will witness Goa sharing the battlefield with NorthEast United with the ultimate aim of staging a quick turnaround. The Fatorda Stadium situated in Goa’s commercial capital Margao will be hosting this intense contest on Wednesday. 

The invincible run of the Gaurs in the 2023-24 season finally came to an end on the previous matchday with a defeat on the home turf. It also led Manolo Marquez’s side to be overtaken by the Mariners as they slipped to the third position on the points table. 

NorthEast United is among the frontrunners who are fighting for the sixth playoff ticket as the Top 5 sides have almost sealed the berths. This is a very important fixture for Juan Pedro Benali and his boys as three points from here will directly land them into the Top 6. 

Current Form

It was a forgettable night for the Uzzos in Oranges

Goa’s form has deteriorated since returning from the Super Cup campaign where they couldn’t make it through the group stages. Barring an away 2-0 win over Hyderabad, the Margao-based outfit has not been able to replicate the prowess of the season’s first half. They dropped points on two consecutive occasions including a heart-wrenching 1-0 loss at the hands of MBSG at their fortress. 

Meanwhile, the January break turned out to be decisive for the Highlanders as they now appear to be in great form to compete for the playoff ticket. After a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Jamshedpur, the Highlanders went on to register an emphatic 3-2 win over the reigning Super Cup champions East Bengal. The NorthEastern Reds also opened the scoreline in the most recent appearance against MBSG but eventually suffered a 4-2 debacle. 

Head-to-Head Record

The intensity of this rivalry has always touched its peak as more than half (10) of the encounters between these two sides have been consummated in draw settlements. Goa still has an upper hand in the head-to-head record by winning 6 games till now. Meanwhile, NorthEast United stands on the trailing side of the scoreline with just three triumphs under their crest.  

They also clashed with each other earlier this season at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium resulting in a 1-1 draw. After conceding a 20th-minute opening goal from the visitors, the Highlanders firmly responded with an equalizer in the 26th minute by Jithin MS and eventually shared the match points. 

Team News 

For the Gaurs, Borja Herrera would be available once again after serving his suspension in the 1-0 defeat to Mohun Bagan Super Giant and the Spaniard is expected to have an impact from the bench. According to head coach Marquez, defender Leander d’Cunha is back in training and might make an appearance soon whenever he is fully match fit.

On the other hand, the Highlanders don’t have many issues with no injuries and suspensions but the form of first-choice goalkeeper Mirshad Michu is concerning as the goalkeeper hasn’t kept a single clean sheet this season and conceded four goals against MBSG.

Predicted Starting XIs

Goa (4-2-3-1): Arshdeep Singh, Seriton Fernandes, Odei Onaindia, Carl McHugh, Jay Gupta; Ayush Chhetri, Rowllin Borges; Boris Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Noah Sadaoui; Carlos  Martinez

NorthEast United (4-2-3-1): Dipesh Chauhan; Dinesh Singh, Asheer Akhtar, Michel Zabaco, Buanthanglun Samte; Macarton Louis Nickson, Mohammad Ali Bemammer; Redeem Tlang, Nestor Albiach, Jithin MS; Tomi Juric


Goa’s incapability of opening the scoreline at home has daunted the squad’s morale and ignited the urge to bounce back in front of the same crowd. Moreover, the Highlanders are yet to register their maiden away victory this season and have drawn four away games. 

Hence, there is a high possibility that the Uzzos will win this contest convincingly and take a leap to the pole position.