NorthEast looking for big step in playoff race with win over Odisha (Match Preview 93)

A six-game unbeaten run has helped NorthEast United reach the cusp of qualification to the playoffs of the Indian Super League (ISL) and they will be looking to continue that run when they face bottom-placed Odisha FC in their next match at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Sunday.

A win will not only propel NorthEast into the top four, but it will also anoint them as favourites for a playoff spot. Their last three games are against Chennaiyin FC, SC East Bengal and Kerala Blasters, teams placed eighth, ninth and tenth respectively on the ISL table.

NorthEast have staged a remarkable turnaround since Khalid Jamil took over as head coach after the departure of Gerard Nus on January 14. They won their first three matches under Jamil and have played two draws in February. Both those draws came against FC Goa and Hyderabad, their two rivals in the race for the playoffs. They received an additional boost when Hyderabad dropped points against East Bengal in their last game.

For Odisha, the remainder of the season will be about restoring some pride. They contributed to that cause in their previous game against Kerala Blasters whom they held to a thrilling 2-2 draw.