NorthEast United FC take on FC Pune City in a crucial Indian Super League (ISL) clash on Wednesday at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati.
It is an important match from Pune's points of view who are fighting hard for a playoff spot. The Stallions are placed third on the points table with 22 points from 13 matches. NorthEast United, on other hand, are almost out of contention of finishing among the top four.
The John Abraham-owned side are playing quality football in the second leg of the season under former Chelsea manager Avram Grant. They managed to hold giants FC Goa to a 2-2 draw in an away match last week.
Speaking about Wednesday's clash, Grant said, "For us every game is important. We are playing against a top team. It will be a difficult game but our target will be to win. Our last game was good, we came back from behind twice. We have to continue this performance."
Grant was specifically asked to comment on two quality Indian players in his squad, Seiminlen Doungel and Halicharan Narzary, to which he replied, "We work as a team here. There are so many good players. We have good Indian talents. My Indian players are working hard and they will improve further."
While realistically NorthEast do not stand a chance of qualifying for the playoffs, on paper they can if they win their remaining six matches.
On asked about his team's chances of reaching the last four stage, the NorthEast United technical advisor suggested, "Games are played on the pitch and not on paper. We need to play well and continue doing our job. After that let us see what will happen. We want to win the next game."
A win on home soil against mighty Pune will help NorthEast go past ATK on the points table and reach the eighth position.