GOA, DEC 27, 2021
Hyderabad FC will look to get back to winning ways and maintain the pressure on the teams in the top four at the moment when they take on Odisha FC in the Hero Indian Super League at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim on Tuesday.
Hyderabad FC are currently fourth in the points table with 12 points from seven matches. The Manolo Marquez-coached outfit are three points adrift of leaders Mumbai City FC who play on Monday and a win against Odisha will only propel them forward after dropping points in the last two encounters.
Hyderabad were held to identical 1-1 draws against FC Goa and SC East Bengal in their last two games. Odisha, on the other hand, have been winless in their last three games, losing two of them before playing out a 1-1 draw against Goa in their previous engagement. They are seventh in the table having 10 points from seven games.
For Hyderabad, who have been one of the most balanced sides in the league so far, their performance against rock-bottom SC East Bengal left a lot to be desired. The red and gold brigade had their chances and had Daniel Chima Chukwu converted his golden opportunity in the first half, things could have been different.
Marquez would know all too well that his charges need to better their show against Odisha who have some good attacking players but have not fired in recent games.
Hyderabad have been one of the best defences this season. They have shipped the fewest goals (6). They have only kept one clean sheet but are yet to concede more than one goal in a match this season. They have also been unbeaten in six games and lost their opening fixture to Chennaiyin FC.
“We are in a very difficult competition and every team can beat the other. With this kind of competition,” Marquez said.
“We did not play well in the last game. Odisha have the best foreigners in the league. It will be a difficult game. They have a very good team,” he added when asked about their opponents on the morrow.
Odisha, meanwhile, have struggled to find the back of the net after scoring nine goals in their first two matches of the season. They have failed to score more than one goal in their last five matches.
The good part is that Jonathas Cristian is finding his feet in the Hero ISL, netting his second goal in the last game. He attempted five shots in that match. the most by any player from the two teams that evening.
“Hyderabad are a compact team. They are playing for a long time together. They have a good striker in Ogbeche. He is in fine form,” Odisha head coach Kiko Ramirez said.
“We faced them in pre-season and they know how to create chances. We analysed them and we know how to counter-attack this team.”
Bart Ogbeche scored his sixth goal of the campaign in Hyderabad’s last game and moved to third place in the most Hero ISL goals for Hyderabad. He is now one goal behind Marcelinho and four behind Aridane Santana for the club.
Hyderabad have won just one out of four matches against Odisha in the Hero ISL and they would be keen to better that record starting Tuesday.