NorthEast United will host Bengaluru FC in the first play-off encounter of the 2018-19 Indian Super League (ISL) at the Indira Gandhi Athletic stadium in Guwahati, Assam, on Thursday.
|Game||NorthEast United v Bengaluru FC|
|Date||Thursday, March 7|
|Time||7:30 PM IST|
TV CHANNELS & LIVE STREAM
The Star Sports Network have the exclusive broadcasting rights of the ISL. The games will be shown with the option of English and/or Hindi commentary over their bouquet of television as well as digital platforms.
|India TV channels||Online streams|
|Star Sports 2/HD, Star Sports 1/HD||Hotstar and Jio TV|
Commentary will also be available in vernacular languages across India.
|Malayalam TV channel||Tamil TV channel|
|Asianet Movies||Star Sports Tamil|
NorthEast United possible XI:
Suspended: Gurwinder Singh
Key Players: Bartholomew Ogbeche, Federico Gallego, Rowllin Borges
Bengaluru FC possible XI:
Suspended: Gursimrat Singh
Key Players: Miku, Sunil Chhetri, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu
After making it to the play-offs for the first time in the league's history, NorthEast United are set to take on Bengaluru FC in the first semi-final of the season.
Eelco Schattorie has done well to cohort the best out of his players, given the limited resources at hand especially when it came to domestic players. Bartholomew Ogbeche, who is three goals behind FC Goa's Ferran Corominas (15) in the Golden Boot race, hasn't scored in the last two outings but he will look to get back on the scoresheet.
Gurwinder Singh's suspension would see Mato Grgic pair up with Janeiler Rivas, who was signed very recently. January signing Panagiotis Triadis should start from the bech but he provides more options in attack during the game. A major boost will be the availability of Jose Leudo who is back from suspension.
Rowllin Borges' offensive role has also improved the team's attacks but Federico Gallego will be they key man. The Uruguayan has scored against Bengaluru in both legs of the regular season and he will be itching to do the same here.
The Bengaluru FC coach, Carles Cuadrat, chose to keep most of his squad in tune with some game time as the Spaniard has afforded rotating his squad on a few times in the second half of the season. Although it has taken a toll on the results, it hasn't stopped Bengaluru from finishing first in the league stage for yet another year.
It should be a full-strength side to take to the field on Friday with the trident of Miku, Sunil Chhetri and Udanta Singh leading the attack while Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who is one of the reasons Bengaluru has walked away with a couple of points against NorthEast, reclaims his place in goal.
The centre-back pairing of Juanan and Albert Serran will be the men to beat once again while Bengaluru will be looking to take a positive result before their home leg.
However, given how NorthEast troubled them in the both fixtures during the league stages, Bengaluru would be wary of Schattorie's men.