ISL 2022-23: Hyderabad FC aims to return to winning ways against Chennaiyin FC after winless run
ISL 2022-23: Hyderabad FC has been on a winless run of late. However, it looks to return to its winning ways as it faces Chennaiyin FC away from home on Saturday.
Defending champion Hyderabad FC (HFC) will be desperate to dodge a third successive defeat as it faces former two-time champion Chennaiyin FC (CFC) in the 2022-23 Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Saturday. HFC’s unbeaten streak ended with two back-to-back defeats against Kerala Blasters FC (KBFC) and ATK Mohun Bagan (ATKMB). Meanwhile, the Marina Machans suffered a late heartbreak in Bhubaneswar last week against Odisha FC (OFC). The hosts have won two and lost three of their previous five games in an alternating pattern. CFC’s form at home this season is concerning for them, as it has only won one home game out of four so far.
Abdenasser El Khayati came off the bench to score again in the last game. His double took his season’s tally to four goals in as many games. It will be interesting to see how long Brdaric uses the Dutchman as a super-sub before sacrificing one of his foreign players to include the midfielder in the starting XI.
“We are always working to bring our best players on the field. To win matches is our aim, and tomorrow is one opportunity. Yes, Nasser is ready, and he is an option for tomorrow. We have been working since day one to get our players in shape and fit them, so we have multiple options. Creativity is also important, and that is something Nasser can provide,” said Brdaric.
HFC spent 40 days at the top of the ISL before it lost its unbeaten streak and suffered back-to-back defeats. Not only did it lose, but it also failed to score in both games. In its short history, the defending champion has never failed to score in three consecutive ISL games - a record at stake in the next match.
Losing first-choice shot-stopper Laxmikant Kattimani has been a big blow for HFC, but the defensive wall in front of Anuj Kumar will have to help the young keeper settle in between the sticks. Bartholomew Ogbeche has fired blanks in the last two games and could drop a little deeper or even onto the bench for the next match.
“I think they [Chennaiyin FC] have good offensive players. It’s an unpredictable team, evident in their last game against Odisha,” said Marquez. “We were together in the same hotel in Imphal, and I have a great relationship with Thomas [Brdaric]. I like Chennaiyin because they are a courageous team that plays to win,” he added.
The two sides have met six times in the ISL. The Marina Machans have won three times, while HFC has won twice. CFC is seventh in the ISL with ten points after seven games. A win over HFC will see it leapfrog FC Goa (FCG) and Kerala Blasters (KBFC) and move into fifth place, level on points with ATKMB. A win for HFC will help it keep second place.