NorthEast United vs Goa: Preview and Prediction
Matchday 15 of the 2022-23 Indian Super League season will conclude with a match between NorthEast United and Goa as the ISL action moves to Guwahati’s Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium on Sunday.
NorthEast United has had a season to forget, and it will be fair to say that they have nothing else to play for henceforth, except for pride. They have won only one of their first 13 matches, and with three points, are placed firmly at the bottom of the table.
On the other hand, Goa has blown hot and cold throughout the season. The Gaurs have won six of their 13 matches, but have also lost the same number of fixtures. With 19 points in their account, they are placed sixth in the standings.
NorthEast United has been consistently poor, right from the beginning of the season. In fact, they lost all of their first ten matches – against Bengaluru, Hyderabad, East Bengal, Jamshedpur, Kerala Blasters, ATK Mohun Bagan, Mumbai City, Odisha, Chennaiyin and Goa.
Change in the managerial department finally brought a change in fortune, as in their 11th match, the Highlanders defeated ATK Mohun Bagan 1-0 to break their humiliating streak. However, it has not helped much as since that win, Vincenzo Alberto Annese’s men have suffered back-to-back defeats against Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
On the contrary, Goa had a good start to their campaign as they won three of their four matches, by beating East Bengal, Chennaiyin and Jamshedpur. Hyderabad was the only team who could defeat the Gaurs during this run.
However, this run was followed by a dip where Carlos Pena’s team lost three of their next three games – against Kerala Blasters, Bengaluru and Mumbai City. While Goa bounced back with consecutive wins against Odisha and NorthEast United, they are without a win in their last three matches. They could only secure a point against Jamshedpur, before losing against ATK Mohun Bagan and Hyderabad.
Head to Head Record
The head-to-head records are inclined in favour of Goa. The Gaurs have won 6 of the previous 17 league meetings against NorthEast United, with the Highlanders winning only 3 matches. Notably, 8 fixtures between these two teams have ended in stalemates.
The first meeting of this season, which took place only last month, produced a 2-1 win for Goa. Edu Bedia and Iker Guarrotxena were on target for Pena’s side, while from Annese’s team, Wilmar Jordan was the lone goal-scorer.
After a disappointing 1-2 defeat against Bengaluru, Annese is likely to make changes to his team. The midfield department looked particularly weak, and we could see two tweaks being made to fix that problem. Emil Benny could be replaced by Emanuel Lalchhanchhuaha, while Parthib Gogoi might have to make way for Imran Khan.
Besides that, we could also see two changes being made in the attacking department. Jithin MS could be re-introduced in the team at the expense of Rochharzela, while for Jordan, the new signing from DR Congo, Kule Mbombo could make his debut.
On a similar note, Pena could also look to make changes to his team after a poor display against Hyderabad. Right-back Sanson Pereira had a torrid time in his failed bid to keep Mohammad Yasir quiet, and in his place, we could see Saviour Gama starting this game.
In midfield, Ayush Dev Chhetri could barely have any influence and hence might make way for the more experienced Glan Martins. Besides that, Guarrotxena could also be dropped to the bench, giving Alvaro Vazquez a start.
NorthEast United (4-3-3): Mirshad Michu; Alex Saji, Gaurav Bora, Aaron Evans, Hira Mondal; Emanuel Lalchhanchhuaha, Jon Gaztanaga, Imran Khan; Romain Philippoteaux, Kule Mbombo, Jithin MS.
Goa (4-2-3-1): Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem; Saviour Gama, Fares Arnaout, Anwar Ali, Aibanbha Dohling; Glan Martins, Edu Bedia; Redeem Tlang, Alvaro Vazquez, Brandon Fernandes; Noah Sadaoui.
Goa’s form might be concerning, but it also has to be noted that the head-to-head records, in addition to NorthEast United’s dismal display throughout the tournament, will provide them with a psychological boost. Hence, we have predicted the Gaurs to win this match.