Hyderabad look to sign off on a positive note against NorthEast
NorthEast United FC welcome Hyderabad FC at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Thursday. The Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 campaign has been a forgettable one for both sides, as they head into the final Gameweek placed at the wrong end of the table. Nonetheless, finishing on a successful note will be on each of their agendas and would go a long way in giving their loyal fans something to cheer for after an under par season.
In the only meeting between the pair earlier in the campaign, the Highlanders scored late from the spot to seal all three points.
The Hero ISL 2018-19 semi-finalists would have been disappointed to have lost their last match against Odisha FC even after taking the lead. They looked lively, especially in the first thirty minutes of the encounter, and could have gotten more than they eventually did on the night. Inefficiency in front of goal was once again their primary problem and has been so ever since the departure of striker Asamoah Gyan.
The Ghanaian was terrific to say the least in the first part of the season and is still the club’s highest scorer in Hero ISL 2019-20 with four goals to his name. Besides being potent in front of goal, Gyan also helped those around him excel, with winger Redeem Tlang and forward Martin Chaves being the biggest beneficiaries. However, since the 34-year-old’s departure due to injury a couple of months back, both Tlang and Chaves have found it hard to affect games. New signings like Andrew Keogh and Simon Lundevall, too, have struggled to settle down and NorthEast fans will be hoping for a lot more from the duo in the team's remaining two fixtures.
Defensively, the Highlanders have been decent with Mislav Komorski and Kai Heerings forming a solid pairing and will hope to keep the Hyderabad attack at bay come Thursday. The Highlanders will, however, be without four crucial first team players in Redeem Tlang, Jose Leudo, Rakesh Pradhan and Wayne Vaz for the match due to suspensions.
A 90th minute Sumeet Passi header denied Hyderabad what would have been only their second win of the season last Thursday. Javier Lopez and Co. seemed determined for almost the entire fixture against Jamshedpur, with multiple players stepping up and giving good accounts of themselves. Playmaker Nestor Benitez, who scored on the night, was especially impressive and Hyderabad fans will hope the Spaniard can shine once again to help the team to a positive result against the Highlanders.
Ever since Lopez took over the reins of the club in an interim capacity, Hyderabad have been resolute and compact at the back, conceding very few chances and showing good promise on the break. Goals, though, have been still hard to come by with talisman Marcelo Pereira not enjoying his best campaign in the Hero ISL. The overdependence on striker Bobo for the goals has been a feature of the club’s attack this term, and it will be something they will be working hard to avoid next season. With Thursday's match set to be Hyderabad's final outing in Hero ISL 2019-20, the team will be looking to bow out on a positive note, ideally in the shape of a win against NorthEast.
NorthEast United FC: Subhasish Roy (GK), Mislav Komorski, Kai Heerings, Nim Dorjee, Reagan Singh, Lalengmawia, Milan Singh, Ninthoi, Federico Gallego, Andrew Keogh, Martin Chaves
Hyderabad FC: Laxmikant Kattimani (GK), Sahil Panwar, Gurtej Singh, Souvik Chakrabarti, Adil Khan, Nestor Jesus Benitez, Marko Stankovic, Nikhil Poojary, Marcelo Pereira, Liston Colaco, Bobo
Did you know?
- NorthEast have scored only 13 goals this season. (lowest in league)
- Hyderabad have conceded 38 goals this season. (highest in league)
- Hyderabad need a win in their last match to avoid lowest points tally in Hero ISL history (when 10 teams are involved).
Live Broadcast Schedule:
Hero ISL 2019-20 Match 86: NorthEast United FC vs Hyderabad FC
Date: February 20 (Thursday)
Time: 7:30 PM onwards
Channels: Star Sports Network
Streaming: Hotstar and Jio TV