As three points and three places separate Atletico de Kolkata and NorthEast United FC, coaches of both teams will be aware that tables can turn with three points when they face each other in Kolkata on Thursday.
Atletico de Kolkata, who won the opening edition of ISL in 2014, were unbeaten in the first five matches of the league and were cruising along nicely but in the last four matches, they have already lost twice.
In the last match, Atletico de Kolkata had a great chance to solidify their position but the former champions allowed Delhi Dynamos to escape with a draw despite having a player advantage.
“I think we did a great job in the first half but did not have the same intensity in the second session,” Atletico de Kolkata coach reflected after the 2-2 draw against Delhi Dynamos.
More than Atletico de Kolkata, three points will be an absolute must for NorthEast United FC. The visitors started this season’s campaign in fine form, winning three of their first four matches but they have failed to win any of their last five matches.
The loss in the last match against FC Goa will be painful for Nelo Vingada’s side as they surrendered the early advantage and lost despite having an additional player on the field.
“It was a big and strong defeat for me and we missed a very good chance to get three points, and surely the morale is down after this defeat but we are not finished as nobody has qualified yet. My target for the club is to reach the semi-finals but (the loss against FC Goa meant) we took two steps back,” said Vingada.
NorthEast United are the only team to lose four matches in a row but they will be encouraged with the return of top scorer Emiliano Alfaro and key midfielder Romaric.
NorthEast are placed seventh on the table with 10 points from nine matches. A win will take them to the top four and Vingada will not want to be left out again.