The Nizams started with a defeat while the defending champions recorded a big win.

Hyderabad FC will look to clinch their first victory in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season, when they play Mumbai City FC on Saturday. The champions started their title defence with a solid 3-0 victory against FC Goa. Hyderabad FC, on the other hand, fell short against Chennaiyin FC in their opening fixture. The Nizams will want to halt Mumbai’s perfect start, while they themselves put first points on the table.

The Stakes

Mumbai City FC

Mumbai City will want to continue building on the “dynasty” that Des Buckingham has stressed on over and again. They dominated FC Goa in their first game, as all of the debutants showed their mettle. Despite lesser possession, the Islanders were deadly on the counter. They managed to get six of their 11 total shots on target and found the back of the net thrice.

Igor Angulo reiterated his goalscoring prowess by scoring a fabulous brace. He tormented the Gaurs with his tactful link-up play and clever runs throughout the game. Debutant Ygor Catatau also gave us a glimpse of what he could do this season, with a goal just two minutes after coming on, with his first touch of the game. Rahul Bheke produced yet another immense display at the heart of the defence, while Ahmed Jahouh acted as a seamless catalyst for the likes of the twinkle-toed Raynier Fernandes, Cassinho Gabriel and Bipin Singh.

Hyderabad FC

Hyderabad FC dominated their opening ISL 2021-22 fixture against Chennaiyin FC, but failed to find the net. They eventually fell to a narrow 0-1 defeat, with Vladimir Koman scoring from the spot for the Marina Machans. Manolo Marquez’s side created plenty of goalscoring chances, but were blunt in attack.

Bartholomew Ogbeche probably summed up Hyderabad FC’s evening best, as he failed to convert their best scoring chances. Midfielder Joao Victor put in a tireless shift alongside defender Ashish Rai. Edu Garcia saw an outstanding free-kick saved, while his goal from another set-piece was denied for offside. Despite Chennaiyin FC’s shaky display in defence, Hyderabad failed to capitalize on their chances. Riding on the back of decent individual performances, they will look to make the most out of their opportunities against Mumbai City FC and record their first points.

Team News

Vignesh Dakshinamurthy seems to be the sole injury concern for Mumbai City FC. He limped off in the first half against FC Goa, after being fouled by Leander D’Cunha at the end of his mazy run.

Halicharan Narzary is also the only potential absentee for Hyderabad FC. Narzary lasted only eight minutes against Chennaiyin FC, before he was substituted due to a knee problem.

Head-to-Head

Mumbai City FC are unbeaten in their four ISL meetings against Hyderabad FC. The Islanders have won two, while the other two have ended in draws. Last season, Sergio Lobera’s Mumbai City beat HFC 2-0 in the first meeting and were held to a goalless draw in their second.

Probable Lineups

Mumbai City FC (4-2-3-1): Mohammad Nawaz (GK); Amey Ranawade, Mourtada Fall, Rahul Bheke, Mohammed Rakip; Apuia, Ahmed Jahous; Raynier Fernandes, Cassinho, Bipin Singh; Igor Angulo.

Hyderabad FC (4-4-2): Kattimani (GK); Asish Rai, Chinglensana Singh, Juanan, Akash Mishra; Hitesh Sharma, Joao Victor, Mohammad Yasir, Nikhil Poojari; Bartholomew Ogbeche, Edu Garcia.

Man to Watch

Igor Angulo (Mumbai City FC)

Igor Angulo
Igor Angulo scored twice in the 3-0 win over FC Goa (Courtesy: ISL Media)

Last season’s Golden Boot winner with FC Goa, Angulo dominated proceedings against his former club with his trademark striker’s finesse. Not only was he the crown jewel of Mumbai’s attack, he also had no difficulty finding the back of the net twice.

Intelligent half-space and blindside runs, effortless ball control and finishing with his hammer of a left foot should be common sights by now and we are getting used to watching him shine for the Islanders.   

Edu Garcia (Hyderabad FC)

Edu Garcia
Garcia was Hyderabad FC’s best player against Chennaiyin FC (Courtesy: ISL Media)

A former ISL champion with ATK, Edu Garcia is Hyderabad FC’s danger man. He demonstrated his set-piece threat and attacking expertise against Chennaiyin.

Both of his notable efforts on goal were thwarted, but they testified to his immense ability to create as well as get on the scoresheet.

Did You Know?

  • Hyderabad FC narrowly missed out on a playoffs berth last season, as they finished fifth, only two points behind fourth-placed FC Goa.
  • Hyderabad forged a two-year partnership deal with Borussia Dortmund in 2020, while the City Football Group (also own Manchester City) acquired a 65% stake in Mumbai City FC.
  • While Mumbai have been mainstays since the ISL’s inception in 2014, Hyderabad FC only entered the fray in 2019.

Telecast

The game between Mumbai City FC and Hyderabad FC will take place at the Fatorda Stadium on November 27, 2021. The kick-off is at 9:30 pm IST. The match will be shown live on the Star Sports Network as well as live streamed on Disney+Hotstar and Jio TV.

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