Wednesday night sees Avram Grant’s struggling NorthEast United playing host to high flying Pune City. This game could go either way, as NorthEast have caused upsets in the past, but Pune are scoring for fun against struggling sides. I am sure Pune will want to win this as they will make the gap between them, and playoff contenders, much bigger. Let’s get straight to the stats.
NorthEast go into the game sitting 9th in the league, four points above bottom side, Delhi. They have an awful goalscoring record, only scoring ten goals throughout the season, and their defensive record isn’t any better as they have conceded nineteen goals. They come into the game in mixed form, winning two, losing two and drawing one in their previous five. They haven’t kept a clean sheet in their previous nine games, and they have been first to concede in seven of their last nine games. I am sure Grant will want to break these streaks sooner rather than later.
Pune go into the game sitting 3rd in the table, two points above 5th place. They have an amazing goalscoring record this season, scoring a massive twenty-four goals and their defensive record is quite good, only conceding fourteen goals. They go into the game on the same form as their opponents, winning two, losing two and drawing one in their previous five. Pune will be wanting to improve this, if they are to stay in the play-off places come the end of the season.
The last time these two teams met each other was back in December. The game ended in a 5-0 thrashing for NorthEast, who just couldn’t handle Pune’s attacking threat. As usual for Pune, Marcelinho ran proceedings, bagging himself a hattrick.
Interestingly, the previous meetings before that meeting were all won by NorthEast, so it seems Pune could be playing their bogey team. One stat for the betting readers, there has been less than 2.5 goals in five of their previous seven games.
The Game Itself…
This game is quite interesting, in the fact that, in my eyes, I can’t see a clear winner. Looking at the table you would obviously go with Pune, looking on recent form, you can’t pick a winner, and then looking over previous meetings, you would pick NorthEast.
However, you can clearly predict how the game will play. NorthEast will be happy, especially with Grant in charge, to sit back and soak up as much pressure as possible. Pune will dominate possession and probably dominate the shots stats.
NorthEast definitely do not want a repeat of the game in December and so I am sure they have been working on defending in training. Pune, however, would love a repeat of the game and I am sure they will go out with the intention of inflicting the same damage this time around.
There are a few names that come into contention for this game. Looking at NorthEast, you have the goalscoring Seminlen Doungel, who is always a threat to any team. You also have NorthEast’s star player Marcinho, his link-up play with his teammates is fantastic and he can pop up with a goal.
Looking at Pune, you have striker Emiliano Alfaro, who is never shy of scoring, with a season total of seven. He can also set up his teammates and has two assists to his name.
However, I have gone with his teammate and Pune’s star man Marcelinho. He is the perfect number ten for this league, he can score goals, with six this season. He can also set his teammates up, having seven assists to his name this season. His general play is class and I am sure Pune wouldn’t be in the position they are right now without this man in their ranks.
With all this being said, I will simply leave you with this. I can see the game being closely contested, rather than a battering like their previous meeting, I’ll predict a 2-1 or 3-1 scoreline for Pune, but, now I have said that NorthEast will pull off an upset.