Welcome to Sportstar’s live coverage of the Indian Super League 2022-23 second fixture between Bengaluru FC and NorthEast United FC. This is Nihit Sachdeva bringing you all the updates as the action unfolds at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru.
7:15PM: Just 15 minutes to go before ISL football officially makes its return at the iconic Sree Kanteerava Stadium after two seasons.
General view of the Sree Kanteerava Stadium ahead of the ISL 2022-23 match between Bengaluru FC and NorthEast United FC.
| Photo Credit: ISL
Bengaluru FC (3-4-3): Gurpreet Sandhu (GK), Aleksandar Jovanovic, Sandesh Jhingan, Alan Costa, Prabir Das, Roshan Naorem, Suresh Wangjam, Bruno Silva, Roy Krishna, Sunil Chhetri, Siva Narayanan
NorthEast United FC (4-3-3): Arindam Bhattacharja (GK), Gaurav Bora, Michael Jakobsen, Gurjinder Kumar, Mohamed Irshad, Romain Philippoteaux, Jon Gaztanaga, Emanuel Lalchhanchhuaha, Emil Benny, Matt Derbyshire, Jithin M.S.
6:50PM: Form Guide:
Bengaluru FC coming into the 2022-23 ISL season on a high after clinching its first-ever Durand Cup title with a 2-1 win over Mumbai City FC in the final.
On the other hand, NorthEast United could not get past the group stage in the Durand Cup. With defeats and just one win, NEUFC finished fourth out of five teams in Group D of Durand Cup.
In the Indian Super League, Bengaluru FC and NorthEast United FC have faced each other 12 times. The Blues have won six games while the Highlanders have won two. Four fixtures have finished in a draw.
6:30PM: MATCH PREVIEW (by N. Sudarshan)
The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted many a memory and altered many a life. But Sunil Chhetri swears that he remembers every little detail from his footballing life from before, like “coming to the stadium, doing our warm up, seeing the fans and memorising all the chants”.
On Saturday, he will relive everything when Bengaluru FC returns to its traditional home, the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, after two stifling seasons in a bio-bubble, for its ISL (Indian Super League) season opener against NorthEast United FC.
“It’s like normal football again and supporters will be like big caged animals,” said head coach Simon Grayson.
“Now, they are going to be released into the open to create the atmosphere, the noise and the enthusiasm. I am sure they cannot wait, and the players too.”
After two disappointing campaigns, the buzz around the club appears to be back. The signings of star forward Roy Krishna and creative midfielder Javi Hernandez, the emergence of youngster N. Sivasakthi, and the Durand Cup win, ending a three-year barren run, have excited the supporters.
Fans arrive at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru, on Saturday for the Indian Super League match between Bengaluru FC and NorthEast United FC.
| Photo Credit: ISL
“Durand Cup will give us a lot of confidence,” said Grayson. “We had not won anything for two or three years now and winning matches brings confidence. There is a fine line there, with being over confident. But we are not having any complacency. There is not a player in my team who is thinking ‘NorthEast on Saturday is going to be a walk in the park’.”
The additions of Prabir Das, who formed a good on-field understanding with Krishna while at ATK Mohun Bagan, and defender Sandesh Jhingan indicate that BFC is desperate to contend for a title that it last won in 2018-19.
“I am just trying to make sure that I get into the first XI,” said a dead-serious Chhetri.
“That’s the level of competition. The youngsters are pushing us and a lot of seniors are insecure of their places. That’s one of the best teams to be at. Everyone is working very hard to be in the 18 first and then the 11. I am one of them.”
NorthEast, on the other hand, is a bit of an unknown quantity, with much of the team new. The well-loved Federico Gallego and the solid V.P. Suhair are no longer at the club which finished second from bottom last season. But coach Marco Balbul promised to “try and win the game”.
“We know that it is a tough game against BFC who have a good balance – in defence, and in attack,” Balbul said. “However, we have also come prepared; we have built a new, young team with experienced foreigners. The players have shown good motivation, and good preparation, and we will give our best.”
Where will Bengaluru FC vs NorthEast United FC be played?
The Indian Super League fixture Bengaluru FC vs NorthEast United FC will be played at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru.
When is Bengaluru FC vs NorthEast United FC in ISL?
The match between Bengaluru FC and NorthEast United FC is scheduled for a 7:30 pm IST kickoff.
On which channel will ISL matches be telecast?
Bengaluru FC vs NorthEast United FC will be aired on the Star Sports Network from 7:30 pm.
Where can I live stream Bengaluru FC vs NorthEast United FC?
The ISL fixture – Bengaluru FC vs NorthEast United FC – will be live streamed on Disney+ Hotstar.