Bengaluru face NorthEast United test in Guwahati

Blues Make The Trip To The Hills As They Look To Bounce Back From First Defeat Of The Campaign

Guwahati, Assam: Bengaluru FC are set to face NorthEast United in an Indian Super League fixture, in Guwahati, on Wednesday. Blues’ Head Coach Carles Cuadrat says he expects his side to be mentally strong ahead of the clash where a victory will send his side to the top of the charts, albeit provisionally.

A late goal consigned Bengaluru to their first defeat of the campaign on Sunday against Mumbai City FC and Cuadrat maintained that his side will be looking to bounce back against the Highlanders on Wednesday. “It is true that we have dropped seven points because of goals scored in injury time, but we have to be mentally strong in this situation and work toward the next game. NorthEast United have had a longer period to prepare, and I am sure that we will have to be at our best to take something from it,” said Cuadrat, addressing the press ahead of their trip to Guwahati.

NorthEast are winless in their last three games, with a 3-0 loss to ATK preceded by draws against Jamshedpur FC (1-1) and Mumbai City FC (2-2). Wednesday’s clash also marks the first of the reverse fixtures in the Blues’ calendar, with Robert Jarni’s side playing out a 0-0 draw at the Kanteerava in their opening game of the season.

Bengaluru’s previous fixture against the Highlanders at this venue came in the semifinal of the 2018-19 campaign, where a late penalty allowed the hosts to take the tie to the Kanteerava with a 2-1 lead, only for the Blues to score three times in the return leg to reach the summit clash.

“Games against the NorthEast have always been interesting, home or away, and I expect the same tomorrow. They haven’t won in the last three games, but we will not be analysing that. We are looking at the positive side of things. We are still in a playoff spot position on the table, have the most number of clean sheets and have conceded the least number of goals. We will try to improve on our own performances and to get back to winning ways,” Cuadrat added.

While the Blues will be without Spaniard Manuel Onwu, who continues his return from an ankle injury, striker Asamoah Gyan remains a doubtful starter for the hosts. The 34-year-old Ghanaian was forced off in the Highlanders’ clash against ATK, picking up an injury in the 9th minute. The Highlanders, meanwhile, will be buoyed by the return of striker Federico Gallego, who has replaced Argentine Maximiliano Barreiro in Jarni’s squad for the remainder of the campaign.

The rescheduled kick-off for the match will be at 6 pm IST and will be telecast live on the Star Sports network and hotstar.

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