Talking Point: Will Halicharan Narzary help Hyderabad to victory over his former club?

In search of their third victory of the season, Hyderabad FC take on Kerala Blasters FC in Match 40 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Sunday. Kerala are winless this season after six games, while Hyderabad saw their five-game unbeaten run ended by Mumbai City FC in their last encounter. Hyderabad’s Halicharan Narzary is all set to take on his former club. Similarly, Rohit Kumar, who played for Hyderabad FC last season, is expected to make an appearance for Kerala Blasters FC. Ahead of the game, let’s take a look at some of the talking points that could influence the outcome.

In-form Narzary key to Hyderabad FC

Into his seventh Hero ISL season, India international Halicharan Narzary has done well for Hyderabad FC so far. Narzary is one of six goalscoring Indian midfielders this season and his goal against SC East Bengal proved the difference. The 26-year-old winger has attempted most shots by an Indian player this season (18) and averages three shots per match. Narzary has also created five chances, which is already his best return in a single season. Having played for Kerala Blasters FC for a significant period in the past, Narzary will be itching to get one over his previous employers.

Gomes enjoying great season

Kerala Blasters FC have kept a single clean sheet in six matches but would have conceded a lot more goals if not for their brilliant goalkeeper Albino Gomes. Playing his first season as a regular starter, Albino has stepped to the fore and has already made quite a few important saves. Against SC East Bengal, Albino made seven saves and helped his team to a 1-1 draw. In all, Albino had a strong save percentage of 87.50% against Robbie Fowler’s men. He has also saved two penalties out of three, with the first one earning a draw against Chennaiyin FC.

Hyderabad need to shore up their defence

After two clean sheets in their first two matches of Hero ISL 2020-21, Hyderabad have conceded six goals, with five of them coming in their last three matches. At the heart of the Hyderabad FC defence is the able duo of Odei Onaindia and Chinglensana Singh but the centre-backs need more support from Asish Rai and Akash Mishra. Hyderabad have conceded most of their goals on the counter and against a side with a strong conversion rate of 11.11 shots per goal, they will have to be on their toes.

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