ISL 2018/19: Three Things to Look Forward to as NorthEast United Host FC Goa

NorthEast United will look to kick-start their Indian Super League campaign in the best possible way when they take on FC Goa at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium on Monday. The two teams have contrasting feels about them. While the hosts are relying on renewed enthusiasm, FC Goa are banking on familiarity to help them go the distance. 


A match which promises plenty, here are three things to look forward to ahead of kick-off: 

3. A Revamped NorthEast

Over the last four iterations, NorthEast United have earned themselves a reputation of serial underachievers. For four successive years, they have failed to win a place in the play-offs, and this time they are desperate to go the distance. 


Last season's assistant coach, Eelco Schattorie, will be the number one this season and will look to play a more adventurous brand of football. With former PSG striker Bartholomew Ogbeche in their ranks, expect a bit more zip in front of goal, as well. 

2. FC Goa's Familiarity

FC Goa emerged as one of the heavyweights last season and are eager to carry their form into the new campaign. Unlike NorthEast, FC Goa chose to retain most of their players from last season and could benefit from the sense of familiarity. 


Head coach Sergio Lobera has been retained for the second consecutive season and we can expect to see the same explosive brand of football we fell in love with last season. Last season's top scorer Ferran Corominas will once again be their main man up top. 

1. An Even Contest

These two teams know each other very well, making up for a close, unpredictable contest. NorthEast's determination could propel them to go toe-to-toe with FC Goa, as they quite clearly are in dire need of a positive start. 

 

Goa, at least on paper, look to be the stronger of the two. They probably have the best attack in the league and could become close to formidable if they patch up their defensive lapses. We expect a very close affair, tonight, and predict FC Goa to nick a 2-1 win.