Talking Point: Will Hyderabad make it three successive clean sheets in Hero ISL 2020-21?

When Hyderabad FC take on Jamshedpur FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Wednesday, both teams will be eager for maximum points on the back of a draw in their previous 2020-21 Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) fixtures. While Hyderabad will be the happier of the two teams having won one and drawn their other match this season, Jamshedpur know full well that they are capable of beating the Telangana-based club despite their failure to register a win in their first two matches of the campaign. Both teams possess plenty of match-winners and here we discuss some of the talking points ahead of the contest.

Hyderabad’s defensive turnaround

After a difficult debut season in 2019-20 that saw Hyderabad concede 39 times in 18 matches and fail to keep a single clean sheet, they have begun the ongoing campaign with consecutive shutouts. Hyderabad have faced just 4.5 shots per match this season – the lowest in the league – which is a far cry from the 16.22 shots per match they faced last campaign. The shots on target that they faced is also down from 6.33 last season to 1.5 per match at the moment. Despite being relatively inexperienced, Hyderabad’s backline of Akash Mishra, Odei Onaindia, Chinglensana Singh and Asish Rai have impressed so far and are likely to make life difficult for Jamshedpur’s attackers.

Jamshedpur’s over-dependence on Nerijus Valskis

Speaking of Jamshedpur’s attackers, Owen Coyle’s men must find more resources for scoring goals other than just Nerijus Valskis. All three of their goals so far have been scored by Valskis, who has registered three shots on target, while the rest of the Jamshedpur players have combined to record just two shots on target. The Lithuanian frontman will once again fancy his chances of scoring against Hyderabad and boasts a good record against them having netted thrice besides also producing an assist last season. That said, Jamshedpur’s head coach Owen Coyle will be pleased if some of his other players like Jackichand Singh, Amarjit Singh, Mohammad Mobashir and Aniket Jadhav can also get on the scoresheet soon.

Hyderabad must find their scoring touch against Jamshedpur

Hyderabad’s struggles in front of goal this season have been worse than those of Jamshedpur. Even though they have four points on board after two games, they have managed to find the back of the net just once so far through Aridane Santana and that surely hasn’t gone unnoticed by opposition teams. They are yet to score from open play having netted a penalty for their only win this season and have a shot accuracy of 16.12% -- third worst among teams who have played twice in Hero ISL 2020-21. However, they have a chance to improve their finishing and conversion rate against a shaky Jamshedpur defence that’s already conceded four times in two games so far.


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