The Nizams edged the Blues in the earlier meeting this season.
The second half of the ISL 2022-23 season promises to be a sprint to the finish for all 11 teams. With six sides making it to the playoffs this season, each game becomes a must-win in the latter half of the season. Teams in the top will want to build a comfortable buffer to the teams in the middle and bottom, who will fight hard to make it to the top six. Bengaluru FC and Hyderabad FC are on two ends of the spectrum as they face off at the Kanteerava.
Here’s what the encounter has to offer.
A win against Jamshedpur has filled the Blues with belief. They are currently in eighth, eight points behind FC Goa in sixth. Going on a run of point-scoring will reduce the gap with leaders Mumbai City (as of now). This is a crucial juncture in BFC’s underwhelming season. They have the tools to turn things around and facing off against the might of Hyderabad at home can be the starting point for a spectacular turnaround.
While the goals have come at a premium for Hyderabad, their defence has been the best in the league. Only six goals conceded in 10 matches has been the prime reason for the defending champions sitting in second place with 22 points. They enter the fixture with two wins on the trot, and a third win will place them on the top of the table.
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Injury & Team News
Simon Grayson was tight-lipped on potential arrivals in January, with the club already placing focus on their recruitment ahead of next season. For the Hyderabad FC clash, Pablo Perez is not yet ready to play a full game. Also, Bruno Ramires and Alan Costa are on the road to complete recovery.
Hyderabad extended the contracts of Hitesh Sharma, and Mohammad Yasir to ward off interest in January. The Nizams’ top-scorer this season – Yasir has extended his contract till 2025. Barring Kattimani, who is out till the end of the season, no injury concerns prevail at Hyderabad.
Bengaluru FC and Hyderabad have locked horns seven times in the ISL.
Matches – 7
Bengaluru FC – 1
Hyderabad FC – 3
Drawn – 3
Bengaluru FC (5-3-2):
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Prabir Das, Sandesh Jhingan, Aleksandar Jovanovic, Parag Shrivas, Namgyal Bhutia, Javi Hernandez, Suresh Singh Wangjam, Danish Farooq, Roy Krishna, Sunil Chhetri
Hyderabad FC (4-2-3-1):
Gurmeet Singh, Nikhil Poojary, Odei Onaindia, Chinglensana Singh, Akash Mishra, Hitesh Sharma, Joao Victor, Mohammad Yasir, Joel Chianese, Halicharan Narzary, Bartholomew Ogbeche
Player to Watch
Danish Farooq (Bengaluru FC)
Since being deployed wide, Danish has delivered consistently with good displays. He even scored the opening goal against Jamshedpur FC. Danish also doubles up as a central midfielder and sits deep, defensively. His versatility has been immensely helpful to Bengaluru FC and he will hope to win the midfield battle against Hyderabad FC.
Mohammad Yasir (Hyderabad FC)
Fresh off signing a bumper three-year extension, midfielder Mohammad Yasir has been a livewire this season. He has three goals and two assists so far and is a tricky player to mark. gets to dangerous positions with the ability to produce attacking returns.
Did You Know?
- Mohammad Yasir is the first player to make 50 appearances for Hyderabad FC
- BFC emerged victorious the first time these two sides met and have failed to emerge victorious ever since.
- Sunil Chhetri has scored just once in nine appearances so far.
The match between Bengaluru FC and Hyderabad FC will take place at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on December 23rd (Friday). The kick-off time is 7:30 pm IST. The game will be telecasted live on the Star Sports Network. Disney+HotStar and JioTV will also stream the match.