The John Abraham owned NorthEast side have failed to display quality performances in either of the previous seasons as they had ended their campaign on 8th and 5th positions respectively.
Kerala Blasters, on the other hand, have had a topsy turvy campaign. After narrowly losing out on winning the title to Atletico de Kolkata in the first season, the Sachin Tendulkar owned franchise finished at the rock bottom position last season.
Kick-off: 7:00 PM (IST)
Venue: Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati
The match will be telecasted live of Star Sports 2/HD2
Kerala Blasters have made several changes to their squad this season. They have roped in 36-year-old North Ireland international Aaron Hughes as their marquee player.
Hughes had played at the Euro 2016 for his country and he is also a former Arsenal player. Hughes presence at the backline will definitely bolster the Blasters squad.
The club has retained the services of prolific striker Antonio German who proved to a revelation last season.
The home side NorthEast United too made several changes in their squad. They have brought in India international Subrata Paul and signed former Ivory Coast international Didier Zokora from FC Pune City as their marquee player.
NorthEast United FC
Goalkeeper: Subrata Paul
Defenders: Robin Gurung, Mailson Alves, Gustavo Lazzaretti, Salam Ranjan Singh
Midfielders: Katsumi Yusa, Koffi Christian, Didier Zokora, Seityasen Singh
Strikers: Nicolas Velez, Holicharan Narzary
Goalkeeper: Graham Stack
Defenders: Rino Anto, Aaron Hughes, Cedric Hengbart, Sandesh Jhingan
Midfielders: Azarack Mahamat, Didier Kadio; CK Vineeth, Josu, Mohammad Rafique
Striker: Antonio German
NorthEast United FC 1-1 Kerala Blasters