Match 70 preview: Upbeat SC East Bengal face tough ask against formidable Hyderabad FC
SC East Bengal, fresh from their first win of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season will take on Hyderabad FC who will be looking to put an end to their three-match winless run when the two sides meet at the Tilak Maidan stadium in Vasco, Goa on Monday.
Marco Rivera got off to a winning start to his stint as SC East Bengal head coach but there is plenty of work to do for the Spaniard as he attempts to script an unlikely revival for the Red and Gold Brigade who are placed tenth in the table and are eight points behind their opponents on Monday who occupy the final semi-final spot.
Hyderabad FC who had a fine start to the season will look to return to winning ways and go top of the table with a victory over SC East Bengal.
The match will also see a clash of styles as Hyderabad FC’s free-flowing flamboyant football will meet SC East Bengal’s conservative yet spirited style.
SC East Bengal: DDDLW
The Red and Gold brigade have lost just once in their last five matches that also include a win and three draws. They have looked stronger in the last five matches and have proven to be a really tough nut to crack.
Hyderabad FC: DWDLD
Hyderabad FC have an identical record as they have won once and lost once in their last five matches and have drawn three matches. But with an eye on the top spot, Manuel Marquez’s men must improve this form. Against an SC East Bengal side who have just one win all season, anything less than three points will be seen as a poor result.
Head to head
Hyderabad FC are unbeaten against SC East Bengal in the Hero ISL. But two out of the three contests between the two teams have ended in draws including the last one that ended in a 1-1 draw. Hyderabad FC’s only win against the Kolkata side came in the first meeting between the clubs that ended with a 3-2 scoreline in their favour.
SC East Bengal will welcome back Antonio Perosevic after the midfielder is through his five-match suspension. Head coach Rivera also confirmed that new signing Marcelo Ribiera will be involved in the match, however, it’s uncertain if it will be as a starter or as a substitute.
Hyderabad FC will be able to welcome back Bartholomew Ogbeche for the match after he sat out the 1-1 draw against Chennaiyin FC due to suspension.
SC East Bengal
Naorem Mahesh Singh: The Indian youngster scored twice to hand SC East Bengal their first win of the season against FC Goa and would feel confident going into the match against Hyderabad FC. Rivera would hope Mahesh Singh continues his form in the upcoming game as SC East Bengal would need to be clinical against Hyderabad FC.
Antonio Perosevic: The midfielder will return to action after serving a five-match suspension. Despite playing just seven games this season, Perosevic is SC East Bengal’s top scorer with two goals and his one assist is also the joint highest by an SC East Bengal player. His return will add much needed creativity to their attack.
Bartholomew Ogbeche: The top scorer in the Hero ISL this season, Ogbeche is Hyderabad FC’s talisman. His goal poaching skills are next to none and thus, he becomes a crucial player in a team like Hyderabad FC that create plenty of opportunities. Against a team like SC East Bengal that would defend deep, Ogbeche could be vital.
Javier Siverio: Often used as a substitute, Siverio showed his worth when he scored in his first start against Chennaiyin FC. With four goals he is the second highest scorer for Hyderabad FC this season. Marquez admitted that he could start Siverio with Ogbeche upfront in the coming games after the 1-1 draw against Chennaiyin FC.
Hyderabad FC’s set-piece woes
Hyderabad FC have conceded seven of their eleven goals from set pieces this season. This equates to around 63.64% of their goals conceded. No team, in the league this season, concedes a greater percentage of goals from set pieces than Hyderabad FC. The club have conceded three goals where the buildup started from a throw-in. No other team has conceded more goals from throw-ins than Hyderabad FC.
First half crucial
No side is more reliant on goals in the first half this season than SC East Bengal with 69.73% (9 out of 13) of their goals coming in the first half of games. Hyderabad FC have not lost a game after scoring the first goal this season, having three wins and one draw in four games.
Tilak Maidan stadium, not a happy hunting ground
Both the teams are yet to win a game at the Tilak Maidan Stadium this season. SC East Bengal have four draws and three losses at the venue this season while Hyderabad FC lost the only game they played at the venue this season (2-0 loss to Kerala Blasters FC).
Match Timings and Telecast Details
Match: SC East Bengal vs Hyderabad FC
Date: January 24, 2022
Venue: Tilak Maidan stadium, Vasco, Goa.
Kick-off time: 7.30 pm IST
Telecast: Star Sports Network
Online Streaming: Disney+Hotstar and JioTV.