FC Goa will host Hyderabad FC at the Fatorda Stadium on April 5, 7:30 pm IST, in a game where the former will try to build pressure up top in order to challenge for the League Winners Shield. The Gaurs have accumulated 36 points from 19 games at the moment.

A win here will take them to 39 off 20 matches, which is the same equation as that of Odisha FC.

Whilst Mumbai City FC sits in the pole position to retain the shield currently, there is a lot that can play out and unravel in Matchweek 21 of the competition that commences tonight.

FC Goa head coach Manolo Marquez will also be eager to get one over his former team Hyderabad FC, which is at the bottom of the standings and comes into this match on the back of a 3-0 loss to Mumbai City FC. Hyderabad FC had preceded that defeat with a victory against Chennaiyin FC and a draw in front of NorthEast United FC.

Those results had built confidence within the unit that they can aim to end the season on a high and they will be traveling to Goa on Friday in a mood to spoil the Gaurs’ party.

What’s at stake?

FC Goa

FC Goa will be aiming to get their second league double against Hyderabad FC, after having previously done so in the 2019-20 season. They won their previous match against the Thangboi Singto-coached side by 2-0 in February, and a prospective win here will make them the second team that the Gaurs have recorded a league double over this season, after East Bengal FC.

FC Goa has been regaining its mojo lately, having scored twice in each of their last two matches. The last time they went on a longer such run than this was of three games in January 2023. Their defensive solidity ever since Marquez took over the reins has been laudable, having given away only 13 goals from inside the box this season, which is the least amongst all teams in the competition.

Meanwhile, Hyderabad FC has only scored nine goals from inside the box, also the lowest among all teams this campaign. Whilst FC Goa might boast of superior experience in their ranks, recent outcomes have shown that no result can be ruled out in the ISL 2023-24.

Hyderabad FC

Hyderabad FC brought an end to their 10-game-long winless run on the road with the aforementioned 1-0 victory over Chennaiyin FC. The last time they won consecutive away matches was a sequence of four games from December 2022-January 2023.

They have a tendency of neither starting the games strongly, nor finishing it neatly. For instance, they have given away seven goals in the first 15 minutes of their matches and 10 in the final 15 of their games, which is the most amongst all teams in the ISL 2023-24.

FC Goa will have their eyes set on overloading the Hyderabad FC box during these particular phases of the game to extract the most optimum results possible.

Since the start of 2024, Hyderabad FC has conceded 8.8 fouls per game in the ISL, the lowest such rate of all teams. However, Hyderabad FC is the only side with multiple red cards during the same span – three. All in all, an exciting contest could play out if Hyderabad FC brings its A-game to the table.

Key Players to Watch Out

Boris Singh (FC Goa)

Boris Singh has been a consistent figure in the FC Goa frontline this season. He has scored twice and played 16 passes per game at 82% accuracy. The attacker has made 16 key passes and goal-scoring opportunities each, completed 17 successful dribbles, won 58 duels, and rounded off 60 recoveries too. He has won six aerial duels, intercepting once and clearing twice, to deliver reasonable numbers on both ends of the field. Given that he netted in their previous match against Bengaluru FC, one can expect Boris Singh to be edging to find the back of the net once again this time around.

Abdul Rabeeh (Hyderabad FC)

Abdul Rabeeh has made 16 appearances in ISL 2023-24 for Hyderabad FC. He has made 17 passes per game at 76% accuracy, completed 19 successful dribbles, made 22 key passes, and created 23 goal-scoring opportunities. He has won three aerial duels, won eight interceptions, and made 10 clearances as well. Rabeeh emerged victorious in 51 duels, made 52 recoveries, and has also gotten an assist to his name. Towards the fag end of the season, the player will be keen to get his first-ever ISL goal as well.

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Played – 9

FC Goa – 4

Hyderabad FC – 3

Draws – 2

Trivia: FC Goa’s Noah Sadaoui is averaging 4.3 shot attempts per game in the ISL since the start of 2024, the highest of all players.

Team Talk

 “All teams have ups and downs in their season. The feeling is different when you play initially with the scores we are getting now, as opposed to the other way round,” FC Goa head coach Manolo Marquez mentioned before the match.

“The message to the boys for the last two games is to finish the season strongly. When we go to Goa, we know we will be giving a very tough fight there,” Hyderabad FC head coach Thangboi Singto said ahead of the game.

ISL Fantasy

Jay Gupta (3.5cr)

Has earned 80 ISL fantasy points so far

Noah Sadaoui (8.7cr)

Selected by 40% of ISL fantasy users in their teams

Makhan Chothe (3.6cr)

Has bagged 34 ISL fantasy points in 2023-23

If not registered already, fans can participate in the overall league or club-based leagues based on their preferences. Create private leagues, inviting friends and fellow football aficionados to compete. Prizes include a Sony PlayStation ®️ ️5 gaming console, EA Sports FC 24, signed club merchandise, and a Gift Card worth INR 20,000, which will be awarded to 100 winners at the end of the season. Sign up at: https://fantasy.indiansuperleague.com/

Where to Watch

Fans across the country can catch the action in English, Hindi, Bengali, and Malayalam. Fans can watch the action on linear channels like Sports18 Khel (Hindi), Sports18 1 HD (English), Sports18 3 SD (English, Hindi, Malayalam and Bengali), VH1 SD & HD (English), Surya Movies (Malayalam), News 18 Kerala (Malayalam – select matches) & DD Bangla (Bengali). Fans can also catch the action streaming Live for free on JioCinema, the home of Indian football. In addition to this, as part of FSDL’s partnership with OneFootball, ISL live streams and highlights of all matches of the upcoming 2023-24 season will be delivered across more than 190 countries.