Match 74 Preview: Hyderabad face Bengaluru with both sides eager for a win

Match 74 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 will see Hyderabad FC face Bengaluru FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Thursday. Both sides were held to draws in their last fixtures, with Bengaluru leaving it late to draw 1-1 against Odisha FC, while Hyderabad were held to a 0-0 draw by Jamshedpur FC.

Although unbeaten in their previous five matches, Hyderabad have drawn their last three games. A strong performance in a goalless draw against Mumbai City FC was followed by draws against Jamshedpur FC and Odisha FC and Manuel Marquez will hope for a better show from his team against a Bengaluru side that hasn’t had the best of campaigns so far.

Hyderabad’s defence though will take some confidence into the clash having kept two clean sheets in their last three outings. However, they do need to be better and more consistent on the other end of the pitch having scored just once in their last three games.

“Bengaluru are a very strong team and I can only speak good about them. They have been unlucky with a few results recently but are one of the many teams in the hunt for top-four. We need to be at our best going into this game. When we have the ball, we will try to arrive in the attacking third with as many players as possible. When they have the ball, we have to avoid that they arrive at our box with danger,” said Marquez, Hyderabad head coach, ahead of the clash.

The Blues, meanwhile, have kept just two clean sheets in thirteen games this season and need to be more robust at the back between now and the end of the league stage. There has been a marked improvement in their attacking play under interim head coach Naushad Moosa but they are still lacking the clinical edge in the opposition box.

Bengaluru went behind early against bottom-placed Odisha FC in their last outing and it was another set-piece that earned them a point from the game. They haven’t scored from open play in their last seven games and have netted eight of their goals from set-pieces this season. The Blues will need to be at their best for a positive result against Hyderabad and will look forward to capitalizing against a Hyderabad side that has conceded six goals from set-pieces this campaign.

“In the last two days, we've worked on how to be compact and avoid switching off. The first 15 minutes in any game is crucial and we need to keep the ball in those opening stages. The way Hyderabad FC are playing, pressing high, moving possession around and between the lines, they have been really good. They're a good team and it's important for us to get three points tomorrow,” said Bengaluru’s interim head coach Moosa.

The two teams played out a goalless draw in their last outing earlier in the season. With just four points between the two sides going into the fixture, a win will be imperative for both sides as Hyderabad look to consolidate their current position in the top four while Bengaluru hope to move closer to the semi-final spots.

Squads:

Hyderabad FC

Goalkeepers: Lalbiakhlua Jongte, Laxmikant Kattimani, Manas Dubey, Sankar Roy

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

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

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

Bengaluru FC

Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Lalthuammawia Ralte, Lara Sharma, Sharon

Defenders: Juanan, Rahul Bheke, Francisco Gonzalez, Ajith Kumar, Joe Zoherliana, Biswa Darjee, Namgyal Bhutia, Parag Srivas, Pratik Chaudhari, Wungngayam Muirang

Midfielders: Dimas Delgado, Erik Paartalu, Suresh Wangjam, Thoi Singh, Emanuel Lalchhanchhuaha, Amay Morajkar, Harmanjot Khabra, Cleiton Silva, Xisco Hernandez

Forwards: Sunil Chhetri, Kristian Opseth, Ashique Kuruniyan, Udanta Singh, Edmund Lalrindika, Leon Augustin, Semboi Haokip, Naorem Singh

Live Broadcast Schedule:

Hero ISL 2020-21 Match 74: Hyderabad FC vs Bengaluru FC

Date: January 28 (Thursday)

Time: 7:30 PM onwards

Channels: Star Sports Network

Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV

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