The Face-Off #NEUHFC

Indian Super League, Round 10

In our second match of January, we take on NorthEast United FC who sit a point below us in 7th. Ahead of another exciting tie, we take a look at the Highlanders’ setup, current form and more…


In his first season in India, Gerard Nus has got his team to play an attractive brand of football. His side made a strong start to the campaign but has dipped in form in the last few games. NorthEast United recruited Gerard — one of the youngest coaches in the league — back in August 2020. In fact, wherever he has been, be it in the coaching staff of Liverpool FC, Brighton & Hove Albion FC, Elche FC, Rayo Vallecano to name a few, he has almost always been the youngest. This is because he began his coaching career at a remarkably early age of 14. Honing his managerial skills since so early on, has seen him pick up 13 years of experience at such a young age. He is known for his great attention to detail in his training sessions and drills and has worked under the likes of Rafa Benitez, Gus Poyet and Avram Grant.


NorthEast are comfortable with a physical game, and have managed to pull of some good results so far. Having built a squad that’s young and hungry to perform, the Highlanders has been a side that has pushed opponents till the very last minute. Goalkeeper Sanjiban Ghosh, center-back Nabin Rabha, holding midfielder Khassa Camara, wingback Ashutosh Mehta and center-back Lambot, have bolstered NorthEast United’s depth in all departments, alongside the likes of Ninthoi Meetei, Luis Machado and Kwesi Appiah.


NorthEast United started their 2020-21 campaign well, defeating 10-men Mumbai City 1-0 in the first game of the season. After that, they drew two and bounced back with a 2-0 victory against East Bengal. But since that last victory, it’s been five games without a win for them. In the nine matches so far, NEUFC has scored 10 goals and conceded 10.

Hyderabad FC put to an end a series of unlucky results, with a resounding 4-1 win over Chennaiyin FC. They will want to continue that form to try and keep the hopes of a top-4 finish well within reach. 

Key Players

Ashutosh Mehta (NEUFC)

Ashutosh Mehta was recruited by the Highlanders from Mohun Bagan before the season and it’s clear why they signed him. Since his arrival in the right-back position, Mehta has racked up an impressive tally of 22 tackles, 30 clearances, 15 blocks and 15 interceptions. His defensive solidity on the wings is crucial to Gerard Nus’ plans so far this season.

Benjamin Lambot (NEUFC)

Crucial to The Highlander’s high defensive work rate is down to new-recruit Lambot, who has played every single minute of their 2020-21 campaign so far. He sniffs out the danger in his half with his timely tackles and clearances.

Khasa Camarra (NEUFC)

The Mauritania International with 27-caps has played a vital role in mopping up the danger and releasing his side’s pacy wingers. Hyderabad must keep an eye on the big holding midfielder, aiming to stop his stride and passes.

Joao Victor (HFC)

Our midfield anchor added calm and brilliance to our side in the middle of the park, with incredible spatial awareness. His pressure-releasing short passes have helped us build on our passing style from the back, and more often than not, is found pulling the opposition apart from side-to-side. He will be high on confidence going into this game, after scoring his second goal of the season against Chennai.

Joel Chianese (HFC)

In a game where he could have scored a hat-trick, Chianese finally scored from an error at the back from Chennaiyin, but that can get his season running. In his second outing after an unfortunate ankle injury against Bengaluru, Chianese was certainly hungry, looking to continue his come-back in fine fashion. He was lively from the first whistle, attempting four shots with all of them on target, deservedly got his break, soon after the break.

Halicharan Narzary (HFC)

India International Narzary was the brightest attacker from the last game, bagging a brace in an important tie. His energy has been crucial to the balance of the Hyderabad side and could be the danger man yet again.

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