In-form Odisha face Hyderabad looking to continue winning run
Odisha FC will aim to strengthen their grip in the top four of the standings when they travel to face Hyderabad FC at the G.M.C. Balayogi Athletic Stadium on Wednesday. After a mixed start to the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 season, Josep Gombau’s men have found form in their last few matches and currently sit inside the top four.
Hyderabad’s season, meanwhile, hasn’t really got going, leading to the departure of former head coach, Phil Brown. In the reverse fixture earlier this season, Odisha emerged 3-2 winners with Xisco Hernandez, Carlos Delgado and Martin Guedes getting on the scoresheet.
With just one win from 12 matches so far, it’s safe to say that the Hero ISL newcomers haven’t had the greatest of debut seasons. The club have won just one fixture and lost nine matches so far – the worst record in the league. Most of those results can be attributed to the club’s failure to hold out opposition attackers as Hyderabad is the only side yet to keep a clean sheet this campaign. Individual errors have contributed to this disappointing run as well with several players guilty of making match-defining errors.
The performance of attackers like Marcelo Pereira and Nestor Benitez hasn’t been the best either, although both have the quality to seriously hurt any opposition on their day. The duo can take inspiration from the contributions of Bobo, who’s easily been the club’s standout player so far. The Brazilian frontman will be eager to impress and add more goals to his tally when they take on Odisha, who have endured their share of disappointment on the road this season.
Gombau and Co. come into the fixture full of confidence having won four of their last five matches. Scoring first is very much central to the club’s success so far, with Gombau’s side winning all five matches in which they’ve managed to score first. On the flipside, their record after conceding first in fixtures is quite concerning as they’ve failed to win any of the five matches having gone behind.
However, Odisha fans will be upbeat about their chances against Hyderabad given the kind of form Santana and Xisco are in. Santana is Odisha’s top-scorer this season with seven goals to his name, while Xisco is the league’s top-scoring midfielder with five goals. As much as 80% of Odisha’s goals scored this term have been netted by the duo, meaning Hyderabad will have their work cut out when it comes to dealing with them.
Converting from crosses is very much Odisha’s strength having managed to score a league-high eight goals via that route. Furthermore, Hyderabad’s record at defending such situations isn’t great and will give Odisha serious encouragement ahead of Wednesday’s encounter.
Hyderabad FC: Kamaljit Singh (GK), Adil Khan, Gurtej Singh, Matthew Kilgallon, Rohit Kumar, Nikhil Poojary, Asish Rai, Giles Barnes, Bobo, Marcelo Pereira, Nestor Jesus Benitez
Odisha FC: Francisco Dorronsoro (GK), Gaurav Bora, Shubham Sarangi, Narayan Das, Carlos Delgado, Nandhakumar Sekar, Vinit Rai, Xisco Hernandez, Marcos Tebar, Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Aridane Santana
Did you know?
- Odisha have scored eight goals from crosses so far – the highest in the division.
- Hyderabad have conceded a joint-highest seven goals from crosses so far.
- Hyderabad have lost four of their last five matches.
Will Odisha be able to replicate their excellent home form away to Hyderabad?
Live Broadcast Schedule:
Hero ISL 2019-20 Match 59: Hyderabad FC vs Odisha FC
Date: January 15 (Wednesday)
Time: 7:30 PM onwards
Channels: Star Sports Network
Streaming: Hotstar and Jio TV