ISL 2020-21 Preview: Unbeaten Hyderabad takes on a ‘hurting’ SC East Bengal

ISL 2020: For teams which like to dominate possession, Hyderabad has scored just three goals, while East Bengal is yet to open its tally.

Three successive draws, a spate of injuries and lack of goals from open play remain the concerns in what has been an otherwise impressive unbeaten start to the campaign for Manuel Marquez’s Hyderabad.

Hyderabad FC will be keen to return to winning ways when it takes on bottom-placed SC East Bengal in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco on Tuesday.

ISL LIVE: ISL 2020-21 HFC vs SCEB Highlights: Santana brace powers Hyderabad past SC East Bengal

Three successive draws, a spate of injuries and lack of goals from open play remain the concerns in what has been an otherwise impressive unbeaten start to the campaign for Manuel Marquez Roca’s Hyderabad.

HFC vs SCEB – Team and player comparative stats

Despite the setbacks, the Spaniard can take heart from the performances of his young Indian players. In the draw against ATK Mohun Bagan, Hyderabad had only two fit overseas players in the matchday squad. While forward Joel Chianese and midfielder Luis Sastre are still three weeks away from returning to action, striker Aridane Santana and midfielder Mohammad Yasir are available for selection.

HFC vs SCEB – Team and player comparative stats

In four matches, Hyderabad has had 58 shots (11 on target), an average of 14.5 shots per game – second-most in the league – but has scored just once from open play.

“It’s difficult to answer,” said Roca, who will return to the touchline after a one-game ban, trying to explain the struggles in front of goal. “We play our style by keeping possession. At this moment, we don’t have the foreigners in the positions, who can score goals. I think we were the team with most shots in first game (17) and in the second game, we had 11 shots against Bengaluru FC. It’s a problem we have to solve. The team is very compact. We have to create more chances. We are working on this issue.”

For East Bengal and head coach Robbie Fowler, the world seems to be against them. Fowler stated after the team’s valiant goalless draw with Jamshedpur, while playing with 10 men for over 65 minutes, that he feels 'the team is up against 12 men in every single game.’

Points Table

Fowler said the team is ‘hurting’ with the poor results and is seeking to draw motivation from the obstacles. “Everyone does seem, as though, they are picking on us in terms of where we are in the league,” the Englishman said in the pre-match press conference.

He is hopeful of having Aaron Amadi-Holloway, Daniel Fox and Lokon Metei back in training soon but didn’t provide the latest updates on the injury front.

For teams which like to dominate possession, Hyderabad has scored just three goals, while East Bengal is yet to open its tally. What’s worked in Hyderabad’s favour has been its ability to play at a higher intensity both in and out of possession. For East Bengal to register its first win, it will have to match up to its opponents and hope its misfiring forwards can get on the scoresheet.

Match facts

Venue: Tilak Maidan, Vasco

Time: 7.30 pm IST

Squads

Hyderabad FC: Subrata Paul, Laxmikant Kattimani, Manas Dubey, Lalbiakhlua Jongte, Chinglensana Singh, Odei Onaindia, Dimple Bhagat, Nikhil Prabhu, Sahil Panwar, Akash Mishra, Kynsailang Khongsit, Asish Rai, Adil Khan, Halicharan Narzary, Joao Victor, Laldanmawia Ralte, Lluis Sastre, Hitesh Sharma, Abhishek Halder, Sahil Tavora, Mark Zothanpuia, Mohamed Yasir, Nikhil Poojary, Souvik Chakrabarti, Sweden Fernandes, Aridane Santana, Fran Sandaza, Joel Chianese, Liston Colaco, Ishan Dey, Lalawmpuia, Rohit Danu

SC East Bengal: Debjit Majumder, Rafique Ali, Mirshad Michu, Sankar Roy, Daniel Fox, Scott Neville, Gurtej Singh, Narayan Das, Lalramchullova, Abhishek Ambekar, Rana Gharami, Samad Mallick, Mohamed Irshad, Ningthoukhongjam Rohen Singh, Anil Chawan, Novin Gurung, Pritam Singh, Aaron Hammadi-Holloway, Anthony Pilkington, Matti Steinman, Jacques Maghoma, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Bikash Jairu, Sehnaj Singh, Surchandra Singh, Loken Metei, Haobam Singh, Milan Singh, Wahengbam Luwang, Mohamed Rafique, Yumnam Singh, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Balwant Singh, CK Vineeth, Girik Khosla, Harmanpreet Singh