Hero ISL 2022-23: What to look forward in Matchweek 5

Matchweek 4 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 was a fascinating one, where teams established their sheer dominance over their opponents as we witnessed five wins and cleansheets in as many games.

Odisha FC posted their second consecutive home victory with a comfortable win over Bengaluru FC. Meanwhile, Mumbai City FC and Hyderabad FC extended their unbeaten runs with wins over Kerala Blasters FC and FC Goa respectively. Kolkata hosted its first-ever Hero ISL derby and ATK Mohun Bagan, once again, emerged victorious over arch-rivals East Bengal FC as they kept their 100% win record intact. Finally, Jamshedpur FC concluded matchweek 4 by registering their first win of the season after beating NorthEast United FC, who are the only team yet to collect points.

FC Goa kick-off matchweek 5 against reigning Hero ISL League Winners Jamshedpur FC in their first home game of the season at the Fatorda Stadium followed by East Bengal FC’s game as they host Chennaiyin FC at Kolkata. In Saturday’s double-header, Hyderabad FC will take the field against Odisha FC at home in the first game followed by NorthEast United FC’s clash against Kerala Blasters FC.

All eyes would be on the last game of the matchweek on Sunday, as Mumbai City FC welcome visitors ATK Mohun Bagan in Mumbai.

With matchweek 5 is round the corner, let us look at the key narratives to keep an eye for:

FC Goa return to Fatorda after two seasons

After four matchweeks, FC Goa will finally play their first home game of the season, and head coach Carlos Pena will be relying on the support from the Gaurs’ faithful to be their 12th man and aid them to deliver a much-needed win.

The Gaurs went down 0-1 to Hyderabad FC the last time out and will be on the hunt to recollect their winning form against Jamshedpur FC. “I want to play in front of a full stadium. That’s how I last played here. I know about the passion the fans have for football and the club. They have always had our back and I’m sure they will be there for us again,” said Pena on reuniting with the fans after a long break.

However, Jamshedpur FC won’t be holding back as they will bring their winning momentum to Goa after their first win of the season in the previous outing against NorthEast United FC.

East Bengal FC and Chennaiyin FC look to bounce back

East Bengal FC will be hoping to return to winning ways after a defeat in the Kolkata derby against ATK Mohun Bagan, whereas Chennaiyin FC will be afresh after having a break in matchweek 4.

Although both teams are languishing in the lower half of the table, with Chennaiyin FC having a game in hand, both sides will give it their all to collect points and move further up the table.

Manolo Marquez vs Josep Gombau: Winner takes the top spot

Hyderabad FC’s match against Odisha FC will serve as a mouth-watering prospect as both sides have a similar playing style: high-intensity, relentless pressing, and an attacking brand of football. In what will be a top-of-the-table clash, the Kalinga Warriors will be keen on dislodging HFC’s four-game unbeaten run and dismantle them from the top of the table.

While both sides are known for their brilliant attacking displays, the contest will also be pose a test to the defense of both sides. It remains to be seen which side opens the scoring first and it could set the tone for the rest of the game.

NEUFC, KBFC look to end winless runs

After a slow start to the season, NorthEast United FC and Kerala Blasters FC will look and put an end to their respective winless runs. While NorthEast United FC are yet to collect any points from this season, they will be counting on the support of their fans in Guwahati to push them for their first win of the season.

As for Kerala Blasters FC, head coach Ivan Vukomanovic wants his side to show what they have got, and he believes his side are better than the situation they are in right now. Things have gone downhill for the Blasters after their first win of the season against East Bengal FC, as they haven’t picked a single point since then.

Unbeaten Mumbai City FC battle against red-hot ATK Mohun Bagan

The concluding game of the matchweek five will be a feisty affair between two heavyweights as ATK Mohun Bagan visit the Mumbai Football Arena for the first time. Not only that, the Mariners will hope to put an end to the Islanders’ four-game unbeaten run this season and register their first-ever Hero ISL win against them.

A two-point gap currently separates the two teams, with Juan Ferrando’s men having a game in hand. The Mariners have a chance to highlight their sizzling form in front of a robust Mumbai City FC side. MCFC head coach Des Buckingham, on the other hand, will be hoping his side keep their home record intact, as they are yet to lose a single home game this season.

The Islanders will go into the game as favourites as they have been unbeaten against the Mariners in the Hero ISL, having won four and drawn once in five meeting so far.

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