Match 4 Preview: Hyderabad look to earn first win against Odisha

Hyderabad FC will look to secure maximum points against a young and vibrant Odisha FC side when they face off in Match 4 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21. Both sides will be playing their second Hero ISL season but with revamped squads, a lot can be expected from them when they meet at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Monday.

Hyderabad FC lost both their games to Odisha FC last season and eventually finished bottom of the table, and this will definitely be on their mind going into the game -- against a team that fared much better than them with a sixth-place finish. However, Odisha’s new head coach Stuart Baxter is not giving much thought to these past successes against Hyderabad.  

“History doesn’t really help a lot of people. We have two new games against them, they have new players and so do we. There are a lot of things that have changed since last season. We will see this game based on the here and now,” Baxter said at his club’s pre-match media interaction.

The experienced Englishman has made some notable additions to the side, like Steven Taylor and most importantly, Marcelo Pereira. The Brazilian has 49 goal contributions in the last four seasons, the most by an active player in the Hero ISL, which is good for Spanish striker Manuel Onwu having signed a one-year deal with the club following a brilliant performance last season when, on loan from Bengaluru FC, he scored seven goals in four matches.

The likes of Vinit Rai and Jerry Mawihmingthanga will be key to Odisha in midfield. Vinit completed 382 passes at a passing accuracy of 75.34, the second highest among the Odisha midfielders, while Jerry created 22 chances and attempted 61 crosses, the most by an Odisha player. 20-year-old Shubham Sarangi, meanwhile, will be the one to watch out for in defence.

Although Hyderabad FC lost their talisman Marcelo Pereira, in Aridane Santana they have a proven goal-scorer with nine goals in 14 games. Santana will be aided by Aussie forward Joel Chianese who has plenty of experience in the A-League, having played 131 games and scored 25 goals. He has also experience in the AFC Champions League with Sydney FC and Perth Glory.

Hyderabad’s defence though can be a cause of concern for their new head coach Manuel Marquez because of it being young and inexperienced. With only one foreigner Odei Onaindia and the likes of Chinglensana Singh and Asish Rai their only defenders with Hero ISL experience in the team, they need to develop new heroes over the course of the season.

Meanwhile, Marquez shared his opinion as to how he sees the season developing this time around. “It is difficult to predict the teams that will sit at the top or bottom of the table. The teams are at the same level with the same number of foreigners. The young Indian players are performing better as well. The teams with the most continuity in the squad will perform better,” he said during the pre-match media interaction.

Squads:

Odisha FC

Goalkeepers: Arshdeep Singh, Kamaljit Singh, Ravi Kumar, Ankit Bhuyan

Defenders: Steven Taylor, Saurabh Meher, Gaurav Bora, Kamalpreet Singh, Mohd Sajid Dhot, George D’Souza, Shubham Sarangi, Jacob, Hendry Antonay

Midfielders: Baoringdao Bodo, Cole Alexander, Isak Vanlalruatfela, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, S Lalhrezuala, Nandhakumar Sekar, Paul Ramfangzauva, Samuel Lalmuanpuia, Vinit Rai, Thoiba Singh

Forwards: Diego Mauricio, Manuel Onwu, Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Laishram Singh, Marcelo Pereira

Hyderabad FC

Goalkeepers: Lalbiakhlua Jongte, Laxmikant Kattimani, Manas Dubey, Subrata Paul

Defenders: Akash Mishra, Asish Rai, Chinglensana Singh, Dimple Bhagat, Kynsailang Khongsit, Nikhil Prabhu, Odei Onaindia, Sahil Panwar

Midfielders: Abhishek Halder, Adil Khan, Sahil Tavora, Halicharan Narzary, Hitesh Sharma, Joao Victor, Laldanmawia Ralte, Lluis Sastre, Mark Zothanpuia, Mohammed Yasir, Nikhil Poojary, Souvik Chakrabarti, Sweden Fernandes

Forwards: Aridane Santana, Fran Sandaza, Ishan Dey, Joel Chianese, Lalawmpuia, Liston Colaco, Rohit Danu

Live Broadcast Schedule:

Hero ISL 2020-21 Match 4: Odisha FC vs Hyderabad FC

Date: November 23 (Monday)

Time: 7:30 PM onwards

Channels: Star Sports Network

Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV

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