ISL 2021: Desperate Bengaluru seeks revival in clash against Hyderabad

The situation is grave for BFC, which is coming off a 1-3 defeat against Mumbai City FC and has collected just one point from the last three matche

Bengaluru skipper Sunil Chhetri is yet to get off the mark and has also missed two penalties this season.   -  Focus Sports/ ISL

Bengaluru FC and Hyderabad FC will both look to return to winning ways when they lock horns at the Bambolim stadium on Wednesday.

The situation is especially grave for BFC, which is coming off a 1-3 defeat against Mumbai City FC and has collected just one point from the last three matches. Hyderabad, also on four points but having played a game less, will hope to build on a lucky 1-1 draw against Jamshedpur FC in its last match.

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BFC coach Marco Pezzaiuoli insisted that the team was on the right track, but will soon need some results to back it up.

“We played our best game so far against Mumbai City,” he said, on Tuesday. “We played according to our style. We pressed very high, moved fast and the counter-pressing was good.”

“But what I was not happy with was the defending and set-pieces part, because the first goal which we conceded, we could have defended better.”

In the media briefing after the Mumbai City game, Pezzaiuoli said Gurpreet Singh Sandhu ought to organise his defence better and eliminate individual mistakes. So, all eyes will be on the India No.1 goalie, who has had a forgettable start to the season.

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Centre-back Yrondu Musavu-King has not played the last two matches and is a doubtful starter against Hyderabad. Fellow defender Sarthak Golui has left the ISL bio-bubble because of a family emergency. There are also fitness concerns over winger Udanta Singh.

Talisman Sunil Chhetri has been off-colour, and, uncharacteristically, missed two penalties. But such is his class and quality that he is sure to get a longer rope.

For Hyderabad, the match presents an opportunity to calm the waters. Manolo Marquez’s side was excellent in its win over Mumbai City, but played an underwhelming first-half against Jamshedpur, which the coach himself called “the worst since he became manager” in 2020.

Bartholomew Ogbeche’s second-half strike saved the day but the Spaniard admitted that his side needed to be more consistent.

“The positive thing was the reaction of the team in the second half,” Marquez said. “When you have a very good first half and don’t play well in the second half, usually you are angry with the performance. But if the second-half performance is good, the mood is different.”

“In the last two games, we conceded the first goal and showed that we can come back. But we can’t be satisfied with the first half (vs. Jamshedpur).”

He can bank on the wisdom of centre-back Juanan, who until recently was a defensive mainstay for BFC and even worked with Pezzaiuoli until June. But Marquez will miss the services of Halicharan Narzary and Mohammad Yasir, both of whom are injured.

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