HFC look to bounce back after defeat; search for first win at iconic VYBK Stadium
Hyderabad: After a narrow loss to Kerala Blasters at home in the last round, Manolo Marquez’s Hyderabad FC are back in action when they take on Kolkata giants ATK Mohun Bagan at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in yet another promising Indian Super League clash this Saturday.
HFC, who have 16 points from their seven games, will look to consolidate their place at the top of the league table with a positive result on the night.
The Mariners, who are fresh from a 3-0 loss to FC Goa in the last round, will also look to put in a strong performance, in front of their home fans, to try and push for a place at the summit of the league table.
Juan Ferrando’s men have made a mixed start to the league season, having registered three wins and two draws in their six games so far this season. Dimitri Petratos, Manvir Singh and Liston Colaco make a formidable attacking unit, which could prove hot to handle for the travelling HFC side.
Hugo Boumous, Carl McHugh, Brendan Hamill, Lenny Rodriguez and Vishal Kaith on goal have all been in fine form, but the Mariners will miss the services of Joni Kauko, who is expected to be out injured for a while.
Speaking to the media ahead of this game, HFC Head Coach Manolo Marquez expressed that this will be a very difficult game for both sides. “Everyone knows the quality of the foreigners and Indian players at ATK Mohun Bagan. The ISL is an equal competition where any team can beat the other on a given day,” he said.
“I think it will be a good game between two really good teams so it will be just as difficult for them as well,” Manolo added.
Hyderabad were unlucky in the 1-0 loss to Blasters, where Manolo’s side missed a great chunk of chances and failed to score a goal for the first time this season. Bartholomew Ogbeche, Joel Chianese and Javi Siverio will hope to get back on the scoresheet but the form of Mohammad Yasir and Halicharan Narzary, makes HFC a dangerous side going into this game.
The backline of Odei Onaindia, Chinglensana Singh, Akash Mishra and Nikhil Poojary has been the best in the business this season, but HFC are unfortunate to lose Laxmikant Kattimani’s services. The shot-stopper is ruled out for the rest of the season, with Anuj Kumar and Gurmeet Singh fighting for the spot in the Starting XI.
But Head Coach Manolo Marquez is optimistic about his side’s chances in this game and is hoping for a strong performance from his side in Kolkata.
“Last season, we only lost four games, and after three of those defeats, we bounced back with a win. This is how you see the good teams. It is impossible to win every game, but how you bounce back is what is very important,” said the Spaniard.
“We know it is a tough game but we are ready for the challenge,” he added.
Hyderabad are yet to register a goal or a point at the VYBK Stadium but this will be Manolo’s first visit there in the ISL. HFC lost to Bengaluru in the Durand Cup semi-final on a tough night in Kolkata not so long ago and they will aim to get their first result at the iconic stadium.
The game kicks-off at 7:30 pm IST on Saturday and will be telecasted live on the Star Sports Network with live streaming on Disney+ Hotstar and JioTV.