Guwahati: Having suffered defeats in their previous matches, NorthEast United FC and FC Goa would look to record a vital win when they take on each other in their Hero Indian Super League fixture here on Sunday.
NorthEast United FC began their campaign in the tournament with a 1-0 win over Kerala Blasters on October 12 but lost against table toppers Atletico de Kolkata on October 16.
The John-Abraham owned team put up a brave show against Atletico de Kolkata but were done in by the sheer physicality and clinical finishing of the Kolkata side. But, they would look to bounce back with a win in their third home game on the trot at Indira Gandhi Stadium.
FC Goa, on the other hand, fought tooth and nail to the finish, only to be denied by Chennaiyin FC's defence and their brilliant goalkeeper in their opening match 1-2 defeat at home on October 15.
If the Goan side win tomorrow, it will be Brazilian legend Zico's first success in India as manager. Zico is expected again to depend on creative talents of mercurial Frenchman Robert Pires who had an average game against Chennaiyin FC. At 40, Pires showed flashes of brilliance against Chennaiyin and the ex-Arsenal man will be out again to prove a point against NorthEast United.
Another player to watch out for the Goan side will be Clifford Miranda, one of the Indians to make a mark with his performance against Chennaiyin FC. The experienced India international was a constant threat down the flanks and he will be looking to carry his good run into the game against NorthEast United FC.
Brazilian Guilherme Felipe, who did not play against ATK, is likely to start and that will be good news for NorthEast United. Felipe's absence against Kolkata clearly hurt his side as they struggled to match the rhythm and tempo of Kolkata's all-Spanish armada in midfield.
If he starts against Goa, Felipe's job will be to stifle the creative talents of Pires. World Cup and Euro winner Joan Capdevila, who had an average game against Kolkata, will have to shoulder the defensive responsibilities for the northeast side if they have to come up with a win in front of an expected full-house stadium.