Talking Point: Can Hyderabad FC take advantage of Odisha FC’s defensive woes?

Hyderabad FC take on Odisha FC in Match 64 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 at the Fatorda Stadium on Tuesday. Following thumping wins over Chennaiyin FC and NorthEast United FC and a well-earned goalless draw against table-toppers Mumbai City FC in their last match, the Telangana-based club will look to get full three points against a side that is presently propping up the league table. Here ahead of the encounter, we take a look at some of the factors that could prove decisive on Tuesday.

Joel Chianese making his presence felt for Hyderabad FC

Having left the injury issues behind now, Joel Chianese has become an integral part of the Hyderabad attack of late. The side were overly dependent on Aridane Santana when the season began but not anymore as Chianese is going from strength to strength of late. The Aussie has only two goals and one assist to his name so far but based on his performances in the team’s recent games, there is no doubt there will be more goals and assists from him as the season goes on. Odisha will have to watch out for him.

Odisha defence in first half is a big worry

Odisha’s defence has been punished on several occasions in the first half this season, having conceded 13 out of 18 goals during this period. On the other side of the pitch, Hyderabad have been much more compact defensively in the first half, giving away just five goals. However, both sides have scored just three goals in the first 45 minutes. But given Odisha’s defensive woes in the first half and Hyderabad’s recent resurgence, fans can expect Manuel Marquez’s men to break the deadlock early on.

Top-four finish huge motivation for Hyderabad FC

After finishing at the bottom of the league last season, Hyderabad find themselves in a different space this season. As of now they appear a major contender for the semi-finals with 16 points in 11 games so far, and if they succeed eventually, what a turnaround story will that be. No doubt, they will be more motivated to get their second outright victory this season against a struggling Odisha FC side, and in the process return the favour as last season they had lost both their matches against them.

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