Durand Cup 2022, Group C preview: Hyderabad FC and Chennaiyin FC face a tricky test in Imphal

Defending Hero Indian Super League (ISL) champions Hyderabad FC will make their debut in the Durand Cup as its 131st edition plays out in Kolkata, Guwahati, and Imphal.

The team managed by Manuel Marquez was one of the most consistent teams in the Hero ISL last season and won the title by beating Kerala Blasters FC on penalties in the final.

They would now like to add the Durand Cup which is the oldest football tournament in Asia to their kitty. However, challenging them would be Chennaiyin FC who have been bolstered by a number of summer signings.

New head coach Thomas Brdaric will take charge of his first assignment since taking over the south Indian club and will be hopeful of getting off to a positive start.

Group C matches will be held in Imphal where home sides NEROCA and TRAU FC will get plenty of crowd support. Army Red is the other team in the group.

Group C

Sr No

Teams

1

Army Red

2

Chennaiyin FC

3

Hyderabad FC

4

NEROCA

5

TRAU

Group C fixtures

Date

Time

Match

Venue

August 18, 2022

6 PM IST

NEROCA vs TRAU

Imphal

August 20, 2022

3 PM IST

Chennaiyin FC vs Army Red

Imphal

August 22, 2022

3 PM IST

TRAU vs Hyderabad FC

Imphal

August 24, 2022

3 PM IST

Army Red vs NEROCA

Imphal

August 26, 2022

3 PM IST

Hyderabad FC vs Chennaiyin FC

Imphal

August 28, 2022

3 PM IST

TRAU vs Army Red

Imphal

August 30, 2022

3 PM IST

Hyderabad FC vs NEROCA

Imphal

September 1, 2022

3 PM IST

TRAU vs Chennaiyin FC

Imphal

September 3, 2022

3 PM IST

Army Red vs Hyderabad FC

Imphal

September 5, 2022

6 PM IST

NEROCA vs Chennaiyin FC

Imphal

Talking Points

Hyderabad FC: Will stability and continuity help Hyderabad FC

Hyderabad FC haven’t been too busy in the transfer market but importantly they have managed to keep hold of a lot of the players that helped them win the Hero ISL title last season. Star forward Bartholomew Ogbeche, midfielders Joao Victor and Joel Chianese and forward Javier Siverio have all been retained. Goalkeeper Laxmikanth Kattimani who was the hero in the final has also extended his stay at the club.

With the spine of last season’s team still very much intact, Marquez’s side may find it easier to hit the ground running and will be a serious contender in the Durand Cup.

Chennaiyin FC: A start of a German revolution?

New head coach Brdaric has spoken about instilling a German philosophy of football at Chennaiyin FC and the Durand Cup could be a great chance for Chennaiyin FC to bed in new ideas. The cup competition will allow Brdaric to experiment and learn more about his players before the Hero ISL.

Chennaiyin FC fans could also get a glimpse of the kind of football they can expect from their team in the upcoming season and how new signings that include a number of talented Indian players adapt to that strategy.

Imphal derby: Another duel to watch out for in Group C is the Imphal derby between NEROCA and TRAU FC. The two clubs share a healthy rivalry and that game which gets Group C underway is certain to set the tone for the rest of the games in the group.

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