Preview: Positive first matchweek Bengaluru FC wants to win its first game of football against the revamped Northeastern FC

This Saturday, football and spectators will return to the Sri Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru, Karnataka, when Bengaluru FC takes on NorthEast United FC in each team’s Hero Indian Super League debut game (ISL).

Bengaluru FC will be aiming to put last season’s performance in the rearview mirror and fight for the title in front of their supporters once more. The Blues have already claimed the Durand Cup this year, and several of their recent additions have excelled in the process.

Bengaluru FC’s team for the upcoming season now includes two of the top five scorers in Hero ISL history after acquiring Fijian attacker Roy Krishna from ATK Mohun Bagan. The 22-year-old Faisal Ali from Mohammedan SC has also joined the 2018–19 Hero ISL champions. After winning the Durand Cup, head coach Simon Grayson said his team wasn’t in danger of becoming complacent.

Want to preserve the winning mentality at Bengaluru FC: Head coach Simon Grayson

The football team hasn’t been successful over the last few years, when we’re used to having success,” he remarked. “We’re all optimistic since we’ve already won one trophy, which is a wonderful start for us. We are not, however, overconfident. Because the ISL is distinct from the Durand Cup, as is well known. A solid combination of seasoned players and younger players seeking to break into the game makes up our bunch, which is strong. We’re all quite cool-headed, I believe.”

Bengaluru FC faced the same opponents to open the previous season. The Blues defeated NorthEast United admirably, 4-2, to earn all three points. However, Bengaluru FC lost their next seven games in a row after the victory. After their eight-game winless streak in the 2020–21 season, this was their second-longest winless streak in the Hero ISL. Last season, NorthEast United FC had a tenth-place league finish despite giving up 43 goals.

The Highlanders have added players like Gaurav Bora, Michael Jakobsen, and Aaron Evans to their defence to bolster their defence, and Arindam Bhattacharya has been recruited in to challenge Mirshad Michu for the goalkeeping position.

Coach Marco Balbul of NorthEast remarked, “We know that it will be a tough game against a very powerful club that is going well.” “However, we have prepared well. We reorganised with a fresh young workforce and knowledgeable foreigners, which is quite helpful. Therefore, we’ve prepared well for this game and will work hard to win it.”

After four years, Federico Gallego left the team. NorthEast United has replaced him with Nigerian striker Sylvester Emeka Igboun. Along with the promising youngster Parthib Gogoi, the Gokulam combination Emil Benny and Jithin MS were also signed by the Highlanders.

Here to play our style, win for our fans, and make them happy: NorthEast United FC head coach Marco Balbul

The NorthEast United defence is anticipated to benefit from the depth of experience provided by defenders Aaron Evans and Michael Jakobsen. Jakobsen has five caps for Denmark and has played more than 200 times in the Danish Superliga.

Sunil Chhetri has appeared in each of Bengaluru FC’s twelve league matches against NorthEast United and has contributed three goals and three assists in total. The Blues have won six games in their last twelve meetings against The Highlanders, who have won just two.

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