ISL 2020-21 CLUB PREVIEW: Will NorthEast challenge for mid-table positions?

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NorthEast United have spent a relatively long time in the competition. But despite reaching the playoffs on a few occasions, success continues to allude them. The Highlanders will be hoping their efforts come good this time after a below-par season last time around.

So can NEUFC break the shackles to be an outsider for the playoffs? We take a look:

NorthEast United FC Football Match Tickets, Schedule & News 2019 |  BookMyShow

TRANSFERS

NorthEast United have signed up Mohun Bagan right back Ashutosh Mehta and Dylan Fox from A-league club Central Coast to reinforce their defensive depth. They have also added Idrissa Sylla to their ranks, who is known to be a lethal striker.

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The club, however, let go of Redeem Tlang and Milan Singh to stronger rivals Goa and East Bengal respectively. Releasing Martin Chaves might not be a sensible move either, considering his talent and experience.

SQUAD LIST

GOALKEEPERS

  • Gurmeet
  • Nikhil Deka
  • Sanjiban Ghosh
  • Subhashish Roy

DEFENDERS

  • Ashutosh Mehta
  • Benjamin Lambot
  • Dylan Fox
  • Gurjinder Kumar
  • Mashoor Shereef
  • Nabin Rabha
  • Nim Dorjee
  • Provat Lakra
  • Rakesh Pradhan
  • Wayne Vaz

MIDFIELDERS

  • Federico Gallego
  • Imran Khan
  • Khassa Camara
  • Lalengmawia
  • Lalrempuia Fanai
  • Pragyan Gogoi
  • Rochharzela

FORWARDS

  • Britto PM
  • Idrissa Sylla
  • Ninthoinganba Meetei
  • Kwesi Appiah
  • Lalkhawpuimawia
  • Luis Machado
  • Suhari Vadakkepeedika

STRENGTH

NorthEast’s biggest asset is their collective mental strength to stay in the game and give their all till the very end. Even last season, they played out to draw matches and secure points and also occasionally struck late to take home 1-0 wins or 1-1 draws.

WEAKNESS

Undoubtedly, it is their defensive organisation. The Highlanders were all over the place in 2019/20 and they held the second-worst defensive record in the tournament, conceding 30 goals. But, they will hope that the new signings like Fox and Ashutosh Mehta can shore up the leaky defence.

KEY PLAYER

Subhasish Roy Chowdhury - Player profile 20/21 | Transfermarkt
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Keeping a side in the hunt is not easy, and for that very reason, it is necessary to estimate the value of a good goalkeeper in the form of Subashish Roy Chowdhury, who has made crucial saves in the past to maintain clean sheets. His services will be required this time around as well, with quality opponents determined to find the back of the NorthEast net.

PREDICTED TABLE FINISH

10th place – Although they have spirit, it will not be enough for them to launch a concerted challenge for even midtable glory and will have to settle with the bottom places.

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Bhargav Gopal
The quintessential football aficionado who knows a thing or two about Economics. One can often find me reading detective novels with coffee when I am away from the sports world.

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