The Nizams started off wirh a handsome win, while the Marina Machans were held.

Hyderabad FC faces Chennaiyin FC in another major clash between Indian Super League (ISL) sides in the Durand Cup group stages. While the Nawabs breezed their way to winning their opening game, Chennaiyin were held to a frustrating draw.

The Marina Machans need a win to get their Durand Cup campaign going. But the defending ISL playoffs champions aren’t one to back down that easily. Manolo Marquez’s men are flying high on confidence. Another win here can help them take a major step into the knockout stages. Something has got to give in what is expected to be a thrilling game between two ISL heavyweights.

The Stakes

Hyderabad FC

The Nawabs got their Durand Cup underway with a relatively comfortable 2-0 win over TRAU FC. But now they’ll face a bigger challenge in the form of an unpredictable Chennaiyin FC side. Getting a win over a fellow ISL side can always bring a jolly feeling for Manolo Marquez’s side.

While a draw or loss wouldn’t mean the end of the world, they are unlikely to take it easy. Hyderabad FC want to continue their domination from last season and also lift the Durand Cup title. That involves dominating every team they face and if a win can dent Chennaiyin’s momentum, it’s only better for Hyderabad FC. A win can help them pin down that top position and become favourites to reach the knockouts stage.

Chennaiyin FC

Thomas Brdaric’s career as Chennaiyin FC manager went off on a frustrating start. The Marina Machans were held to a draw thanks to a last-gasp equalizer from Army Red in the opening game. Chennaiyin FC were trailing for a long period before finding their vigour towards the end. They’ll hope to bing that momentum to start the game strongly against Hyderabad FC and push them back from the get-go.

Brdaric is still looking for his first official win as a Chennaiyin FC manager and will want to get it on Friday. A loss and draw can be more demoralizing for the group and dent their chances of qualifying for the knockouts. If they’re unable to make the knockouts against the likes of NEROCA FC, TRAU and Army Red, it could cause embarrassment. So there is quite a lot riding on this match for Chennaiyin FC. A win can reinvigorate their hunger to win the Durand Cup.

Team News

Hyderabad FC are only missing goalkeeper Gurmeet Singh, who was not included in the Durand Cup squad as he’s recovering from surgery. They should have a fully-fit squad available apart from that, with the likes of Bart Ogbeche, Akash Mishra and Joao Victor in line to start.

Chennaiyin FC could miss new signing Vincy Barretto are he is recovering from an injury trouble. They have a fully fit squad apart from that.

Head-to-Head

These two teams have met six times so far in the ISL. Chennaiyin FC have come up as victorious on three occasions, with Hyderabad FC winning twice.

Probable Line-ups

Hyderabad FC: Laxmikant Kattimani (GK); Nim Dorjee Tamang, Alex Saji, Chinglensana Singh, Akash Mishra; Hitesh Sharma, Joao Victor; Halicharan Narzary, Nikhil Poojary; Borja Herrera, Bart Ogbeche.

Chennaiyin FC: Debjit Majumder (GK); Ajith Kumar, Fallou Diagne, Narayan Das, Akash Sangwan; Julius Duker, Edwin Vanspaul, Jockson Dhas, Anirudh Thapa; Jiteshwor Singh, Peter Sliskovic.

Man to Watch

Bartholomew Ogbeche (Hyderabad FC)

After starting the opening game from the bench, Bart Ogbeche should get a start against Chennaiyin FC. The ex-PSG striker has decided to stay with the Nawabs for another season to help them win more titles and compete in Asia. Ogbeche is a bonified goal machine who can torment any defender in Indian football.

The Nigerian should help raise the entertainment levels by getting the ball into key areas and tricking defenders with his movement. The players just need to get the ball to him in the final third and let the magic unravel. Ogbeche will hope to start his goal-scoring spree against Chennaiyin FC and someone the Marina Machans must keep a lid on if they want to win.

Anirudh Thapa (Chennaiyin FC)

Anirudh Thapa is the most experienced player currently at Chennaiyin FC, at least in terms of being at the club. The 24-year-old is now in his seventh year with the club and has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders. Thapa will hope to lead from the front by helping his side dictate things in midfield. The India international is really creative with his passing and his unique style allows him to get into areas not many others can.

The Chennaiyin FC captain has to show a lot of fight in working hard to regain the ball and also create chances. If the 24-year-old can get into his groove, it could be a good day for the Marina Machans. He’ll hope to keep a swift flow in midfield and get the ball in key areas to Peter Sliskovic and hope he can convert.

Did you know?

  • Hyderabad FC defender Alex Saji was part of the Gokulam Kerala team that won back-to-back I-League titles.
  • Edwin Vanspaul scored his first-ever goal for Chennaiyin FC in their draw against Army Red, in what was his 53rd appearance for them.
  • Hyderabad FC’s Borja Herrera played in the La Liga in his career with Las Palmas.

Telecast

The game between Hyderabad FC and Chennaiyin FC will take place at the Khuman Lampak Stadium, Imphal. The time of the match will be a 3 PM kickoff. The Durand Cup 2022 will be broadcasted on the Sports18 network. It will be shown on Sports 18 1 SD & HD as well as Sports 18 Khel (Hindi commentary). It will also be available to stream on Voot and Jio TV.

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