ISL 2020-21 Preview: Playoff hopeful Hyderabad FC wary of Kerala Blasters

ISL 2020-21: Hyderabad FC, with 24 points, is placed fifth in the table and a win against Kerala Blasters will see it jump two spots to close in on a playoff berth.

Hyderabad FC

Hyderabad FC is currently on a nine-game unbeaten streak, but has drawn six games in this period.   -  ISL/Sportzpics

The battle is heating up for the last two playoff slots in the Indian Super League (ISL 2020-21). One of the contenders is Hyderabad FC, which faces Kerala Blasters at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco da Gama (Goa), on Tuesday.

The men from Kochi could perhaps afford to play in a relatively calmer frame of mind; they are no longer in the race for the top-four finish. They, in fact, are lying second from the bottom, with 16 points from 17 matches.

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Hyderabad, with 24 points, is placed fifth and a win will take the team to third and closer to qualification. It has to come up with an improved display to get that win, though, after drawing six of its last seven games.

Coach Manuel Marquez feels nothing can be taken for granted despite being placed third in the table.

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“All the other teams, from Kerala, who are second from the bottom, till the top positions, can climb positions in the table,” he said. “We will play with Kerala with our style. We will not change that because (we need to win).

“We are nine games unbeaten but six of them are draws. We have to continue in the same vein and try to win the game because our season has been fantastic. We want to be in the top four,” he said.

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His counterpart, Kibu Vicuna said Blasters needed to find the right balance between attack and defence.

“In most of our games, we have been creating more chances than the opponents but we are not getting the points,” he said. “We have to improve this aspect. We are working and analysing our mistakes. We are trying to have a more positive percentage in the relation between creating chances and scoring goals,” he added.