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ISL Preview: NorthEast and Pune lock horns with their eyes on semis

Photo Courtesy: ISL's official website
Photo Courtesy: ISL’s official website

NorthEast United and FC Pune City lock horns in the 52nd match of the 2015 Hero Indian Super League, as both sides look for a win in order to progress to the semifinals of the competition.

Overview

Realistically, FC Pune City have a much better chance of making it to the final four of the ISL than NorthEast United, despite them currently having fewer points than the John Abraham co-owned side.

This is because Pune, who currently have managed to amass a total of 15 points so far, still have two more games remaining as opposed to NorthEast United, who only have a single game remaining.

This means that Pune will be able to reach a tally of 21 points if they manage to win both their remaining fixtures. NorthEast, on the other hand, will only be able to get a maximum of 20 points.

If Pune manage to win both their remaining fixtures against NorthEast and Chennayin, they will be moving to the semifinals. However, they will certainly not have an easy time against their last two opponents, who will also be fighting tooth and nail for a place in the final four of ISL 2015.

And Pune boss David Platt admits that his side’s chances of making it to the semifinals lie in their own hands.

“We will confront the game to win as we always do. We have 90 minutes to win the game of football,” Platt told Goal.com. “It is like a final, but we have our fate in our own hands, we are not dependent on other results. The situation is enjoyable in a perverse sort of way.”

However, Pune’s current form will certainly be concerning the former Manchester City boss, with his side failing to record a single win in their last six fixtures.

NorthEast United, meanwhile, will be hoping to give their best and win this game, even though their chances of qualifying are pretty slim.

Even if they win this game, the John Abraham co-owned side will only go through to the semis provided Pune manage to beat Chennaiyin in the two sides’ final league fixture. A win against the Hrithik Roshan co-owned side in this fixture would take NorthEast United’s tally to 20 points.

Pune, who will still be on 15 points if they lose, will then need to beat Chennaiyin (currently on 19 points) to clear NorthEast United’s path to the semifinals.

Although NorthEast may be able to beat Pune in this fixture, it is unlikely that Chennaiyin, who are currently in excellent form, will lose their final game. Still, an upset is highly possible in the Indian Super League, and NorthEast will be praying for one if they manage to win this game.

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