NorthEast United, ATK eye top spot
NorthEast United FC and Atletico de Kolkata will be eyeing the top spot of the Hero Indian Super League table when they play each other at Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium on Friday.
Both the teams are going into the game after incurring a loss in their previous ties. NorthEast went down to defending champions Chennaiyin FC in their last game and Atletico de Kolkata lost their first match of the season when they lost to Mumbai City FC in front of Arsenal legend Thierry Henry at home.
“Our team has potential and quality and we can work and develop on a lot of things. Sometimes in the game of football, you need a little bit of luck. We were not lucky (against Chennaiyin FC) but in the upcoming games, I believe we can be lucky and win in spite of not playing as good as we played against Chennaiyin FC,” said NorthEast United coach Nelo Vingada.
NorthEast started strong in this edition of the ISL winning both the matches at home but since then, they have suffered a dip in form picking up just four points from their last four matches. The return to Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium should boost confidence and although they did not pocket anything from the last game, the Professor should be confident that they can return to the top of a table with a simple win, or even a draw.
NorthEast United are currently placed second with 10 points from six matches but a point or more will take them above Mumbai City FC who are perched at the top with 11 points. Atletico de Kolkata will also have their eyes on the top position as the race to qualify for the semi-finals intensifies.
Atletico de Kolkata have five points from their last four matches but it is the loss in the last clash against Mumbai City FC that will hurt them. It was their first loss in the competition and came despite the hosts having chances to turn the tables.
The visitors also suffered the ignominy of seeing chief coach Jose Molina sent to the stands by the referee for repeatedly protesting against referee’s decisions. He will not be on the bench for Friday’s clash. Atletico de Kolkata, who won the league in 2014, are placed third on the table with nine points from six matches.