Talking Tactics: Key battles to watch out for in Hero ISL Final Hyderabad FC vs Kerala Blasters FC
Hyderabad FC will take on Kerala Blasters FC in the final of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season at PJN Stadium in Margao, Goa on Sunday.
Hyderabad FC defeated ATK Mohun Bagan 3-2 on aggregate. Three goals in the first-leg turned out to be enough to take them through to the final.
Road to the final: Hyderabad FC go hunting for their first Hero ISL silverware
Their opponents, Kerala Blasters FC won 2-1 on aggregate against the league stage winners Jamshedpur FC.
Road to the final: Ivan Vukomanovic engineers Kerala Blasters FC back among the mix
Both the teams like to play fast attacking football, therefore individual battles during the course of ninety minutes and extra time could define the fate of the match.
Here's a look at some of the key battles that could decide the outcome of the match between two these two sides.
Joao Victor vs Adrian Luna
Joao Victor has been the pivot for Hyderabad FC. The defensive midfielder has contributed five goals and an assist in the offensive play. In addition, he has made 789 passes and has had 1045 touches. While, defensively, he has made 60 tackles, 40 clearances, 33 interceptions, and 32 blocks.
Adrian Luna, on the other hand, has registered six goals and seven assists. He has made 882 passes and has had 1244 touches of the ball.
Both the players are crucial to how their respective team performs. They might not be placed against each other on the field but in terms of the impact they have on the team, they will be in a battle on Sunday. The player that has the bigger impact on the tie could be on the winning side.
Juanan vs Alvaro Vazquez
The Hyderabad FC centre-back has had a good season. He has made 68 clearances, 32 blocks, 29 tackles and 26 interceptions. In addition he assisted two goals in offensive play.
Juanan is crucial to Hyderabad FC’s style of football where they like to play out from the back. This is where KBFC’s pressing, led by Vazquez, comes into the equation. He will be crucial to winning the ball back. While, for Juanan, it would be about keeping the striker quiet.
Vazquez has scored eight goals and assisted two in 22 matches. He has had 67 shots in the season so far.
Bartholomew Ogbeche vs Ruivah Hormipam
The Hyderabad FC striker has been in scintillating form this season. He has scored 18 goals and assisted two in 19 matches. He has a goal conversion rate of 30%.
Ogbeche has been a leader for Hyderabad FC. He has the potential to change the dynamics of the game in just a few seconds. Therefore, the young Kerala Blasters FC centre-back would have to stay focused and be on his toes the whole time. Hormipam also has had a good season.
The KBFC man has made 64 clearances, 49 tackles, 29 interceptions, and 11 blocks in just 13 appearances, playing around a thousand minutes.