Hyderabad look to find home solace at the expense of Kerala
Hyderabad FC will be looking for their first points in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 when they take on Kerala Blasters FC at the G.M.C. Balayogi Athletic Stadium on Saturday for what will be their first ever home match. Hyderabad have not won a game yet, losing their first match 5-0 against ATK before going down 3-1 to Jamshedpur FC in their next.
Meanwhile, Kerala Blasters FC will look to put their defeat against Mumbai City FC behind them when they take on the newcomers. The Kochi-based club won their first match at home against ATK before a late strike from Mumbai City FC’s Amine Chermiti condemned them to a defeat in their next game.
Plagued with injuries, Hyderabad FC’s head coach Phil Brown will face a dilemma while choosing his starting XI. His side will have to make some drastic changes, especially defensive ones, after conceding eight goals in two matches. Moreover, with Bobo, Giles Barnes, Nestor Benitez and Rafael Lopez, all injured or unavailable, Hyderabad are left with just three foreigners. Another player who is set to miss out on the upcoming clash is Sahil Panwar. The 19-year-old joins the list of many Hyderabad players on the treatment table.
Their attack needs their talisman Marcelo Pereira and target-man Robin Singh to click soon, if they want to make more of an impact in the opposition’s penalty box. Hyderabad have scored only one goal so far, courtesy of Marcelo Pereira. In his last press conference, Brown reiterated the lack of chances created as a real problem for his side, and with Marcelo Pereira struggling to find his full fitness, he is yet to play to his full potential.
Kerala Blasters FC
Kerala Blasters return to league action after a week away and they will hope to take advantage of their long break. After falling short against Mumbai City FC last time around, Kerala will be looking for a win against Hyderabad. Kerala Blasters’ captain Bartholomew Ogbeche will be key to his side yet again. He’s already found the back of the net twice this season and will be eager to get amongst the goals against a fragile Hyderabad defence.
Head coach Eelco Schattorie, meanwhile, will also be hoping for a much-improved defensive display from his team, especially from set-pieces. Their weakness from set-pieces was repeatedly exposed in their game against ATK in the season opener, with the Kolkata-based side even scoring their goal from a free-kick. The creativity of Marcelo Pereira will also need to be contained by the likes of Jairo Rodrigues and Gianni Zuiverloon, who have mostly looked solid at the back for Kerala so far.
Kerala Blasters FC: Bilal Husain Khan (GK), Mohamad Rakip, Jairo Rodrigues, Gianni Zuiverloon, Mouhamadou Gning, Jessel Carneiro, Halicharan Narzary, Sergio Cidoncha, Jeakson Singh, Sahal Abdul Samad, Bartholomew Ogbeche
Hyderabad FC: Kamaljit Singh (GK), Asish Rai, Matthew Kilgallon, Gurtej Singh, Mohammed Yasir, Nikhil Poojary, Marko Stankovic, Adil Khan, Rohit Kumar, Marcelo Pereira, Robin Singh.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Hyderabad have just two shots on target so far this season – the lowest in the division.
- Kerala Blasters had the second worst away record last season.
- Should Kerala triumph, Hyderabad will become the first team to lose their opening three matches in the Hero ISL.
Kerala’s Bartholomew Ogbeche or Hyderabad’s Marcelo Pereira – which ace striker will be more influential in the match?
Leave your views in the comments below:
Live broadcast schedule:
Hero ISL 2019-20 Match 14: Hyderabad FC vs Kerala Blasters FC
Time: 7:30 PM onwards, November 2nd
Channels: Star Sports Network
Streaming: Hotstar and Jio TV