Bengaluru FC will be looking to make it two in two as they take on a confident NorthEast United in the Indian Super League (ISL) tonight. It is going to be an intriguing clash between two of the three teams that are yet to be beaten this season. The other one is Hyderabad FC. Bengaluru FC will be buoyant after their win against Chennaiyin FC in the last match. Meanwhile, Gerard Nus will want his spirited side to keep up the good work against the resurgent Blues. Here are the five key battles that may well decide the match-
Suresh Wangjam vs Khassa Camara
The dynamic Wangjam has been an absolute baller this season. He has driven his team forward in tight situations and always seems to make the correct decision. Against the Highlanders, he will be up against a seasoned campaigner in Khassa Camara. Camara will be tasked with checking the youngster’s progress from midfield as well as making sure that he doesn’t get time on the ball. This one is too close to call, but it might end up as the deciding factor in the end.
Sunil Chhetri vs Ashutosh Mehta
Chhetri finally got his goal against Chennaiyin FC. Although the captain has been a little rusty till now, he seemed to have finally picked his radar in that game. However, the Blues need to get him the ball in more dangerous situations, something that Ashutosh Mehta would like to save a say on. The right back has been excellent so far and his reading of the game has been exceptional. It’ll be interesting to see if he is able to balance his game in order to keep Chhetri quiet and provide thrust during attacks at the same time.
Sylla and Appiah vs Juanan and Bheke
The two NorthEast strikers are similar but complimentary at the same time. Both are good in the air and can play with their back to goal. Also, both have a lethal finish and can run past defenders one on one. Gerard Nus will be looking to get the best out of them again when faced against Juanan and Rahul Bheke. Bheke is still getting into his rhythm while Juanan has played every match so far. Their understanding at the back will be severely questioned tonight as will Gurpreet’s decision-making in goal.
Ninthoi Meetei vs Ashique Karuniyan
This battle should give every Indian football fan hope for the future. Ninthoi has been absolutely spectacular this season. The young dynamite rarely puts a foot wrong in attacking situations and has the maturity to help out in defence. Therefore, it will be a good test for Ashique to show everyone why he is so highly rated by both Igor Stimac and Carles Cuadrat. Playing at left back may not be his strongest suit, but it is matches like these that can help him improve the defensive side of his game.
Dylan Fox vs Dimas Delgado
Fox was brought on from the bench in the last match against SC East Bengal. He should be raring to go for this one as he tries to lessen the impact of Dimas from the Bengaluru midfield. The Spaniard looked like his normal self in the last game and most of the positive play will come through him again tonight. Fox and his partner Benjamin Lambot might be instructed by Gerard Nus to step up from time to time and try taking the ball off him. He’ll know very well that giving him time on the ball can be extremely dangerous for NorthEast’s defence.