All in readiness for Punjab FC’s first home game as they take on in-form NorthEast United FC

Punjab FC will host their first home game of the season as they welcome a high-flying NorthEast United FC to the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Friday, October 6. Punjab has tasted defeat in both of their opening games so far, whereas the Highlanders bounced back from a loss against Mumbai City FC to triumph 3-0 over Chennaiyin FC in the second Matchweek.

What’s at stake?

Punjab FC pre match warm-up session during match 4 of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season played between Mohun Bagan Super Giants and Punjab FC held at Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on September 23, 2023. Dipayan Bose/Focus Sports/ISL

Punjab FC

This is a fantastic opportunity for the Indian Super League (ISL) debutants to carve an impact in their home turf with impressive performances in their first fixture there.

A victory in this match could help them head into the international break high on confidence. It will enable them to strike a chord with their fans with a promise to entertain them with a brand of football that they can symbolise with the club.

Parthib Sundar Gogoi of Northeast United FC during Match No 05 between Mumbai City FC and Northeast United FC at Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati, Assam on 24 September 2023

NorthEast United FC

Juan Pedro Benali has already inspired a slight turnaround for the Highlanders. He helped them get to the semi-finals of the Durand Cup but it was their thumping win against the Marina Machans at home that would help them draw significant belief from.

It was a performance put together by their several emerging superstars and the side will be inspired to get bag some positive results away from home now. 

Key Players

Nikhil Prabhu (Punjab FC)

The 22-year-old defender has a major responsibility on his shoulders to lead the backline in the team’s first foray in the ISL. He has recorded nine clearances, three blocks, one tackle, along with an 82% passing accuracy in two appearances so far. However, the centre back will have to pull up his socks to prevent a dynamic NorthEast frontline from taking multiple shots at goal.

Parthib Gogoi (NorthEast United FC)

Parthib Gogoi has already netted twice in two games and he is showing all signs of delivering a season to remember for NorthEast United FC. Head coach Benali has urged fans to exercise caution and let the player develop gradually. However, Gogoi appears to be the most impressive element in the Highlanders’ attacking unit right now.

Head-to-Head

This will be the first match between the two teams in the ISL.

Trivia: NorthEast United FC has scored at least three goals or more in three of their last five ISL matches.

Head Coach of Punjab FC during Press Conference of Match No 12 of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season played between FC Goa and Punjab FC held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Goa on 02 October 2023. Adimazes/ISL

Team Talk

“Our feelings are very positive. We are very excited to come to our home stadium that will host us for this first season of the ISL. We are very excited – the players and me also. We hope we live a lot of good moments here and that we give a lot of happiness to our fans, to the people of Punjab and to our families. We fought a lot in one year in the I-League to live this moment. Even though we have started with two not so good results, we will try to take advantage of our home here and succeed to get our first victory,” Punjab FC head coach Staikos Vergetis expressed his thoughts ahead of the team’s first home game of the campaign.

“There was a lot to take from our first match, though we lost the game. We really worked on our weaknesses, where we were suffering. In the second match, we were much better and got a positive result. If you see, our head coach always says that it’s important we respect our opponents. It’s the first season for Punjab FC, with new players and a new team. It’s a good team, and a very balanced team. Though they didn’t win the first two games, the way they played football is very attacking. They are a very strong side,” NorthEast United FC assistant coach Naushad Moosa reflected on the team’s form so far and their opponents for the next game.

Where to Watch

Viacom18 is the new home of Indian football and the match between Punjab FC and NorthEast United FC will kick off at prime time of 8 PM on October 6, 2023. Fans across the country can catch the action in English, Hindi, Bengali, and Malayalam. Fans can watch the action on the linear channels like, Sports18 Khel (Hindi), Sports18 1 SD & HD (English), VH1 SD & HD (English), Surya Movies (Malayalam), DD Bangla & Colors Bangla Cinema (Bengali).

In addition to this, as part of FSDL’s partnership with OneFootball, ISL live streams and highlights to all matches of the upcoming 2023-24 season will be delivered across more than 190 countries.

ISL Fantasy

Top Picks & Players to Watch Out

NEUFC – Asheer Akhtar (4.7cr)

Has recorded seven clearances, three tackles, and even scored once in two matches this season

NEUFC – Parthib Gogoi (6cr)

Scored twice in two matches to kick off the season on a strong note

PFC – Luka Majcen (9.3cr)

Focal point of Punjab’s attack and scored in their 3-1 loss to the Mohun Bagan Super Giant in their opening game of the campaign

If not registered already, fans can participate in the overall league or club-based leagues based on their preferences.  Create private leagues, inviting friends and fellow football aficionados to compete. Prizes include a Sony PlayStation®5 gaming console, EA Sports FC 24, signed club merchandise, and a Gift Card worth INR 20,000, will be awarded to 100 winners at the end of the season. Sign up at:  https://fantasy.indiansuperleague.com/

Also Read: Jamshedpur FC seal hard-earned 1-0 win over Hyderabad FC courtesy Rei Tachikawa stunner

Also Read: Santosh Trophy group stage to be played from October 8

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