Both sides have won only one game this season till now.
After notching up their first win of the campaign, Hyderabad FC are now gearing up to host NorthEast United in their next home game on Wednesday evening.
After clinching a win on the back of two resounding defeats, it is time for Hyderabad FC to build on their home form to challenge for the playoffs. However, Wednesday will see the new entrants face a stern test against NorthEast United who have looked solid under new head coach Robert Jarni. The Highlanders have already faced two of last season’s finalists in Bengaluru FC and FC Goa, as they held their own in both games against formidable opponents.
The initial matches in the league were not easy for Hyderabad FC, who conceded eight goals and were defeated in their first two games. The win over Kerala Blasters was on the back of a far from convincing performance, but the three points would have definitely lifted the mood in the dressing room.
Phil Brown’s men would be keen to build on this win and treat their fans with a similar gameplay against NorthEast United. They would be eager to go into the international breaks, knowing a number of key players returning from injury upon the completion of it.
NorthEast United would be gunning for three points to move closer to the top of the table and keep their unbeaten run intact going into the break. The Highlanders currently are brimming with confidence and are expected to be a tough nut to crack against their injury ravaged hosts on Wednesday.
The hosts already have Rafael Lopez, Sahil Panwar, Nestor Gordillo, Bobo and Giles Barnes injured or unavailable going into the game. Adding to their woes, India international Adil Khan also missed the previous game with an injury and is unlikely to recover before Wednesday.
NorthEast United, on the other side, have almost their entire squad available going into the game. Kai Heerings who limped off in the last game, is expected to return against Hyderabad FC. However, the same can’t be said of midfielder Milan Singh, who had to be stretchered off against FC Goa and is unexpected to return on Wednesday.
Though this is the first time Hyderabad FC will be facing NorthEast United, but erstwhile FC Pune City (now Hyderabad FC) had played 10 times against the Highlanders in the course of last five seasons. Both sides have won four games each with the remaining two being draws.
Man to Watch
Marcelinho (Hyderabad FC)
Marcelinho (R) scored in the last two games for Hyderabad FC
The Brazilian has been one of the highest scoring players in the league in the recent seasons. Marcelinho is one of the few players in the league who possess the ability to change the course of a game single-handedly. This quality of his was on display against Kerala Blasters, when he scored from a free-kick in late second half against Kerala Blasters. The visitors cannot afford to allow him with the ball in the attacking areas.
Redeem Tlang (NorthEast United FC)
Tlang is currently the highest scoring Indian player in the league with two goals
The Meghalaya-born winger has been a revelation for the Highlanders since last season, impressing with his direct game and chipping in important goals. The 24-year-old has already netted twice this season and is looking confident at the moment. Against a comparatively weak Hyderabad FC defence, Tlang is expected to have a huge impact.
Hyderabad FC: Kamaljit (GK), Gurtej, Kilgallon, Yasir, Sampingiraj, Poojary, Stankovic, Rohit, Marcelinho, Abhishek, Robin.
NorthEast United FC: Subhashish (GK), Reagan, Komorski, Heerings, Rakesh, Leudo, Puitea, Kadam, Chaves, Redeem, Gyan
Did You Know?
- While with newly promoted Hull City, Phil Brown won the Premier League Manager of the month for September 2008, with victories over Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.
- Marcelinho has the highest number of assists in the history of the ISL with 16 to his name.
- NorthEast United were unbeaten in their first five away games last season.
The game will take place at the GMC Balayogi Athletic Stadium on Thursday and will be telecasted live on Star Sports 2 and Stars Sports 2 HD from 7:30 PM IST. It will also be streamed on Hotstar and Jio TV.