Talking Point: Can Hyderabad’s inconsistent attack start firing against Bengaluru?

Hyderabad FC will be eager to strengthen their position in the top four of the 2020-21 Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 standings and move away from the chasing pack by picking up a win against Bengaluru FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Thursday. Manuel Marquez’s men have drawn their last three games and will welcome a win that would extend their unbeaten run to six matches. Bengaluru, on the other hand, are winless in their last seven games and must start winning soon to keep their semi-final hopes alive. Here, we have a look at some of the deciding factors that may influence the outcome of the game.

Bengaluru’s defensive struggles

The Blues haven’t enjoyed the best of seasons so far and their normally reliable defence has found it difficult to remain solid and compact at the back. Bengaluru have conceded 17 goals and their defensive frailties are a major reason behind their seven-match winless run. They’ve lost five of those seven matches and need to start registering clean sheets soon if they are hoping for a turnaround in fortunes. Bengaluru, in fact, have failed to keep a clean sheet for 10 matches now – the longest run without a shut out by any team in Hero ISL 2020-21.

Hyderabad’s inconsistent attack

On their day, Hyderabad is capable of blowing away the best of teams with their attacking players. However, they have struggled for consistency as far as their attack is concerned throughout the campaign. They’ve managed to find the back of the net just once in their last three outings and have failed to score in five out of their 13 matches overall. Their inconsistency going forward though is perhaps best highlighted by the fact that they haven’t netted in four of their previous eight games, two of which witnessed them hit the opposition for four goals each. That said, Hyderabad’s attackers will fancy their chances against Bengaluru’s defence.

Set-pieces continue to bring Bengaluru goals

Set-pieces have been the Blues most likely source for goals this season and that was the case once again when Bengaluru rescued a point against Odisha FC through an Erik Paartalu goal from a corner in their last outing. It was the third consecutive match that Bengaluru have scored from a set-piece and it’s not much of a surprise considering that 8 of their 15 goals so far have come from such situations. The last seven matches, in fact, have seen them find the back of the net four times via set-pieces. As much as 53% of their goals have come from such situations and Hyderabad will need to be switched on while defending set-pieces against the Blues.

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