Bengaluru FC and NorthEast United FC will kick off on Saturday in the second match of the Indian Super League at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa.
ISL 2021-22 LIVE: Bengaluru FC vs NorthEast United, Chhetri eyes history in the opener
Both teams played out a 1-1 draw when they clashed in the tournament last time on January 12. The Blues, captained by Sunil Chhetri, has secured the services of Gabonese defender, Yrondu Musavu-King, Brazilian midfielder Bruno Edgar Silva Almeida and Iranian midfielder Iman Basafa, Congolese striker Prince Ibarra. The club retained the services of Cleiton Silva.
The club underperformed last season, finishing seventh in the table with 22 points and won just five out of its 20 matches played last season.
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NorthEast United FC made news when it appointed Khalid Jamil as its permanent head coach in October, the first Indian to have the designation in the history of the ISL.
The Highlanders secured the services of Jamaican forward Deshorn Brown, French forward Mathias Coureur, Mauritanian midfielder Khasa Camara and Australian centre-back Patrick Flottmann.
The club also signed Hernan Santana, who was instrumental in Mumbai City FC’s title-winning campaign last season. It retained the services of Federico Gallego who enjoyed a good last season and notched four goals and six assists in 16 games for the Highlanders in the 2020-21 campaign.
The club finished third last season with 33 points. It won eight matches from the 20 played last season. It had just two wins in 11 matches under then manager Gerard Nus till the reins were handed over to Khalid Jamil who guided the club on a 10-match unbeaten run to its road to the play-offs.
Bengaluru FC XI: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Alan Costa, Musavu King, Sarthak Golui, Ashique Kuruniyan, Suresh Wangjam, Jayesh Rane, Bruno Ramires, Sunil Chhetri, Udanta Singh, Cleiton Silva
NorthEast United FC Predicted XI: Subhasish Roy, Provat Lakra, Patrick Flottmann, Hernan Santana, Gurjinder Kumar, Sehnaj Singh, Imran Khan, Federico Gallego, Rochharzela, Mathias Coureur, VP. Suhair