Channel; Streaming: Star Sports HD1, 1, 3; Hotstar, Jio TV.
Northeast United will be looking to reestablish their dominance in the league when they take on ATK in Guwahati today. The Highlanders drew their last two games against Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC. They were on course to a victory against an unbeaten Bengaluru but a 92nd minute goal by Bhutanese forward Chencho levelled the scores.
The key players NEUFC will be relying on tonight in attack will once again be the in-form Federico Gallego and the Nigerian international Bart Ogbeche. They will be ably assisted by a powerful midfield in Jose Leudo and Rowllin Borges.
NEUFC won the reverse fixture between the two teams earlier in the season and will be reasonably confident of getting all three points at home.
If ATK can pull off a win against Northeast United tonight, they will be in among the play-off positions. After an indifferent start to the season, ATK have unassumingly surged ahead on the table. They’ve picked up two wins and two draws in their last four matches in an unbeaten run stretching from November.
The former FC Barcelona youth product Manuel Lanzarote has been at heart of the ATK attack with everything flowing through him. The attacking midfielder is in great form and scored a brace in their win against Chennaiyin. ATK will rely exclusively on Lanzarote for both creativity and inspiration tonight.
Much like Northeast United, ATK have defended fairly well over the course of the season. In what is being billed as the East Indian Derby, John Johnson and Co will have to be at their very best to thwart Ogbeche and Gallego tonight.
FULL-TIME: Northeast United 0-0 ATK
Northeast United failed to live up to their attacking potential as they racked up another draw against ATK in a dull, insipid Saturday night game.
The over-reliance on Federico Gallego and Bart Ogbeche proved to be Northeast United’s undoing tonight. The xG graph for top shooters and creators shows Ogbeche as a footnote and doesn’t even have Gallego on the list which shows how little influence he had on the game.
Gerson Viera a centre-back masquerading as a midfielder and the centre-back duo of John Johnson and Andre Bikey nullified Ogbeche and Gallego by affording them very little space on the pitch.
Very few chances were created in this game which gives us very little to talk about. Balwant Singh had a great chance in space in the 30th minute, but he decided to loop it over the keeper instead of putting his foot through it. NEUFC did not have a single good opportunity and the only time they got close was from Ogbeche and Redeem Tlang attempts from outside the box, but that was just so the ATK keeper could go for a walkabout.
ATK’s Lanzarote and later on Noussair El Maimouni delivered some good balls from set-pieces, but nothing came off it.
All things said, a tame draw on the night in an East Indian Derby which promised a lot, but failed to live up to what it could have been.