Hyderabad look to dent Bengaluru’s top spot ambitions
Defending champions Bengaluru FC take on bottom-placed Hyderabad FC in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Thursday. Bengaluru have been in fine form at home this season, picking up 16 points from a possible 21 so far, while Hyderabad are yet to register their first point away from home in the Hero ISL.
Having beaten a high-flying Odisha FC in their previous fixture, Bengaluru come into the match on the back of a three-match winning streak at home and will look to extend the run on Thursday. The Blues will be buoyed by the fact that Hyderabad have conceded 20 goals on the road this season, the worst defensive record away from home among all the teams this season.
New signing Deshorn Brown has already started to impress this season. The Jamaican striker scored his maiden Hero ISL goal against Odisha in their previous fixture and will be eager to add more to his tally against a struggling Hyderabad defence. Besides being a goal threat, his movement at the tip of the Bengaluru attack should allow skipper and top scorer Sunil Chhetri to cut in from the left flank, something the India international excels at. Chhheti, too, has been in fine scoring form, particularly at home and his partnership with Brown up top can spell danger for the Hyderabad backline.
Another key element in Bengaluru’s arsenal is Erik Paartalu, who found himself involved in all of their goals against Odisha. His five assists this season are the joint most by any player while his partnership with fellow midfielder Dimas Delgado has been outstanding this season. The Blues also have a new signing incoming in the shape of Spanish winger Nili Perdomo. While it may still be too early to see the former Barcelona man take guard in the Starting XI, it won't be surprising if Perdomo has a role to play from the bench.
Engaged in a tight race for the top spot with FC Goa and ATK FC, Carles Cuadrat and Co will be eager to keep their foot on the gas and pick up all three points from the fixture.
With just six points in 14 games, Hyderabad are already out of contention for a top four spot. The players, however, will be eager to salvage some pride and give a good account of themselves with the club's management already preparing for the next season. Their away form has been dismal this season after succumbing to six continuous losses while conceding a staggering 20 goals on the road.
With new interim head coach Javier Gurri Lopez taking charge in their last match, Hyderabad put on a gritty display against Mumbai City FC, holding the Islanders to a 1-1 draw at home. Defender Adil Khan put up a ‘Hero of the Match’ winning performance against Mumbai, making a staggering 19 clearances and putting in 5 tackles. Hyderabad will be looking towards the enigmatic defender to inspire the team yet again against a very potent Blues' attack.
While Hyderabad are still looking for the elusive first away point, Lopez will be hoping that his players can replicate their performance from the reverse fixture earlier in the season, where Hyderabad FC drew 1-1 against Bengaluru FC despite playing more than 30 minutes with 10 men. Hyderabad fans might find some solace in Bobo’s away form as well, with the Brazilian scoring three goals in as many away matches for Hyderabad. If the newcomers hope to come away with any points from Bengaluru, Bobo getting on the scoresheet will be imperative.
Bengaluru FC: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (G), Albert Serran, Juanan, Nishu Kumar, Harmanjot Khabra, Udanta Singh, Erik Paartalu, Dimas Delgado, Suresh Wangjam, Deshorn Brown, Sunil Chhetri
Hyderabad FC: Laxmikant Kattimani (GK), Matthew Kilgallon, Mohammed Yasir, Asish Rai, Adil Khan, Sahil Tavora, Marko Stankovic, Laldanmawia Ralte, Nikhil Poojary, Marcelo Pereira, Bobo
Did you know?
- Bengaluru have conceded just 4 goals at home so far this season.
- Hyderabad have lost their last six away matches in a row.
- Bengaluru have won their last 3 home matches in a row.
Live Broadcast Schedule:
Hero ISL 2019-20 Match 70: Bengaluru FC vs Hyderabad FC
Date: January 30 (Thursday)
Time: 7:30 PM onwards
Channels: Star Sports Network
Streaming: Hotstar and Jio TV