The Nizams defeated the Marina Machans in their previous meeting in the Indian top-flight league.

The Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season is well-underway and it is time for Hyderabad FC and Chennaiyin FC to begin their respective campaigns. The two sides will face each other at the GMC Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa on Tuesday, November 23. The Nizams and the Marina Machans are being considered among the sides favourites to qualify for the playoffs at the end of the season.

Manolo Marquez will be leading Hyderabad FC for his second season in India as head coach while Chennaiyin FC have a new man on the helm in Bozidar Bandovic. The Montenegrin tactician is one of the many new head coaches in this season’s ISL and will hope to begin his stint in India with a positive result.

The Stakes

Starting the season with a positive result is absolutely vital as it sets the tone for the next few games. Hyderabad FC look strong on paper because of new arrivals, who has prior experience in the ISL. Players like Bartholomew Ogbeche and Edu Garcia will hope to get the show running as soon as possible.

Chennaiyin FC have won the ISL twice, making them the second-most successful club in the league’s history. The Marina Machans have lost their way in the last few seasons and need a fresh approach after finishing eighth in the previous campaign. Chennaiyin FC fans are desperate to see their team among the top clubs in the division and that could be their main objective this season.

Team News

Hyderabad FC will have a full-strength squad available for the upcoming game. Manolo Marquez confirmed it during a press conference recently. As for Chennaiyin, there are not many injury concerns apart from Rafael Crivellaro — who has a muscle strain, and Germanpreet Singh. It will be interesting to see Anirudh Thapa as captain.

Head-to-Head

Hyderabad FC and Chennaiyin FC have faced each other four times in their history with both teams securing two wins. The last encounter between the two sides during ISL 2020-21 ended in a 2-0 victory for the Nizams.

Probable Lineups

Hyderabad FC: Laxmikant Kattimani (GK); Asish Rai, Juanan, Chinglensana Singh, Akash Mishra; Joao Pedro, Hitesh Sharma; Mohammad Yasir, Halicharan Narzary, Edu Garcia; Bartholomew Ogbeche.

Chennaiyin FC: Vishal Kaith (GK); Reagan Singh, Salam Ranjan Singh, Slavko Damjanovic, Narayan Das; Anirudh Thapa, Ariel Borysiuk, Ninthoi Meetei, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Mirlan Murzaev; Lukasz Gikiewicz.

Man to Watch

Bartholomew Ogbeche (Hyderabad FC)

Bartholomew Ogbeche
Ogbeche won the League Winners’ Shield and the league title with Mumbai City FC last season (via HFC Media)

Hyderabad FC have acquired Bartholomew Ogbeche in one of the major transfers of the season. The former NorthEast United, Kerala Blasters and Mumbai City star is a proven ISL goal-scorer with a brilliant record. He won the League Winners’ Shield and the Championship Trophy last season with the Islanders, playing a major role in their achievements.

The Nigerian has played over 57 games in the league and has scored 35 goals. He is the third-highest goal-scorer in the history of the ISL. Ogbeche will be the obvious source of threat for the Nizams and will bring a winning mentality to the outfit.

Anirudh Thapa (Chennaiyin FC)

The captain for Chennaiyin FC this season, Anirudh Thapa’s growth and development over the years at the club has been one of their biggest success stories. The midfield engine is absolutely indispensable for the team. He is one of the central figures when it comes to quality in midfield, despite being relatively young at 24 years of age. Thapa will also create goal-scoring opportunities as evident from many times previously.

The Indian international has featured in 69 ISL games in his career, registering five goals and nine assists.

Did You Know?

  • No match between Hyderabad FC and Chennaiyin FC have ever resulted in a draw. However, both sides drew 11 games last season, the most among all clubs.
  • Rafael Crivellaro and Anirudh Thapa are the highest assist-makers (9) in the history of the Marina Machans.
  • Hyderabad FC is Bartholomew Ogbeche’s fourth different ISL club in as many seasons.

Telecast

The kick-off time for the match between Hyderabad FC and Chennaiyin FC is slated at 7:30 pm IST. The action will be available on the Star Sports Network, and streaming apps like Disney+Hotstar and JioTV.

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