Defending champion, Hyderabad FC (HFC), will take on Chennaiyin FC (CFC) in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the GMC Balayogi Stadium here on Thursday.
HFC is placed second now on the points table with 31 points from 13 games behind table-topper Mumbai City (33 points), while Chennaiyin is seventh with 15 points from 12 games.
Playing at home, HFC would like to continue the momentum after its emphatic 3-1 win over FC Goa in the last away game, thanks to a brilliant hat-trick by Bartholomew Ogbeche. Chennaiyin came back from 0-2 down to register a point away against Jamshedpur in the last round and will hope to put on a similar performance in this game.
The likes of Petar Sliskovic, Julius Duker, Aakash Sangwan, Vincy Barretto, Edwin Vanspaul and Vafa Hakhamaneshi, alongside Anirudh Thapa, who returned from injury, have all been in fine form for Chennaiyin in recent games.
“Chennaiyin is a very strong team and is currently in a position where they have to win to qualify,” said HFC head coach Manolo Marquez.
For HFC, the likes of Bartholomew Ogbech, Javi Siverio, Borja Herrera, Joel Chianese, Mohammad Yasir, Halicharan Narzary, Abdul Rabeeh and Rohit Danu have all been in impressive form in front of goal.
Odei Onaindia, Nim Dorjee Tamang, Nikhil Poojary and Akash Mishra have been superb at the back, while Gurmeet Singh has hardly put a foot wrong, and together stands as the best defence in the league this season.
The visitors will miss the services of Abdenasser El Khayati and Rahim Ali, both of whom are out injured.
HFC have Joao Victor and Laxmikant Kattimani still on the sidelines ahead of this tie.