ISL 2020-21 preview: Hyderabad eyes winning return against FC Goa

ISL 2020: After two successive defeats, Hyderabad FC will aim for a change in fortunes when it takes on sixth-placed FC Goa at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Wednesday.

A win would see Hyderabad climb to the fifth spot and potentially even dislodge Bengaluru FC on fourth if it were to win by five goals or more. Goa, on the other hand, has a chance to move to the third spot if it seals the win.   -  Sportzpics

Hyderabad FC, smarting from two successive losses, will be eager to get points in the bag when it takes on FC Goa in the Indian Super League (ISL 2020-21) clash at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco on Wednesday.

Hyderabad is eighth on the table, while FC Goa is two spots above it and has played an additional game.

Manolo Marquez’s side began the season in fine fashion to remain undefeated in five games but was then outplayed by Mumbai City and Kerala Blasters. For a side that has scored half of its goals from set-pieces, it will fancy its chances against an FC Goa side that has conceded the most goals from set-pieces this season - seven.

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FC Goa coach Juan Ferrando acknowledged his side’s set-piece struggles but added that he was more focussed on the result. Talking on the eve of the game, he said, “I'm not worried if we concede three goals, but we should score four. About the set-pieces, we need to put attention to why (we are conceding from them).

“It's important to connect. When we are working in the defensive line, it's important to understand the moment of the timing to attack the ball, who is better in free space, the zones, and man-to-man. In this case, we need time because it's necessary to change game by game, depending on the opponents.”

He continued, “Clubs like ATK Mohun Bagan, Mumbai City and Bengaluru FC, for example, are successful in set-pieces because they know and have been working together for two-three. Everyone knows more or less what to do.”

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The 39-year-old added that Hyderabad would prove a tough nut to crack. “Hyderabad has a very good squad. I believe that in the second round (of fixtures) everyone will need to pay attention to them because they will further improve. They may be the surprise team at the end of the season.”

Interestingly, the current Hyderabad squad consists of eight former FC Goa players, including the likes of Liston Colaco, Halicharan Narzary, Chinglensana Singh and Mohammad Yasir.

Hyderabad also has its share of defensive woes, having been unable to keep a clean sheet in any of its last five games. The side’s back-line will face a stern test against a Goa side that has scored 10 goals and is home to the top-scorer in Igor Angulo.

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"These kinds of things (conceding goals) are normal in football. If you are an offensive team, you can have problems in defence and vice versa. Goa has an offensive style because they arrive with a lot of players when they attack. They have very good players, everybody knows that. It's not only about Igor Angulo but also their midfielders and forwards. But for their defence sometimes, when the other team is in counter-attack, there are fewer defenders than attackers and it becomes very difficult to defend," said coach Marquez.

A win would see Hyderabad climb to the fifth spot and potentially even dislodge Bengaluru FC on fourth if it were to win by five goals or more. Goa, on the other hand, has a chance to move to the third spot if it seals the win.

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