Hyderabad vs Bengaluru: Preview and Prediction
Hyderabad will take on Bengaluru in ‘Match 22’ of the 2021-22 Indian Super League season on Thursday at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim. Both teams have struggled for consistency in this campaign and will be aiming to find consistency against fellow strugglers.
Hyderabad is placed at the seventh position, having won, drawn, and lost one game each. The Blues started their season with a dominant win over NorthEast United in their opening fixture, but things have gone south ever since as they have only four points from as many games.
How have they done so far?
Hyderabad started the season on a disappointing note as they suffered a slender 1-0 defeat against two-time ISL champions Chennaiyin. However, they made up for that loss with a 3-1 win over reigning champions Mumbai City, but just when many expected Manolo Marquez’s men to embark on a killing spree, they were restricted to a 1-1 draw by the high-flying Jamshedpur.
On the other hand, Bengaluru started their campaign with a resounding 4-2 win over NorthEast United but then suffered a 3-1 defeat against Odisha. After sharing the spoils with Kerala Blasters in the Southern Derby, Marco Pezzaiouli’s men were handed another 3-1 defeat in their last match against Mumbai City leaving them stranded in the eighth position.
Head to Head Record
Both teams have faced each other a total of four times in the Indian Super League, with most of those games ending in stalemates. In the only game which produced a winner, Bengaluru emerged victorious against the Nizams.
The first game of last season between these sides ended in a goalless draw, while the second clash produced a 2-2 thriller. Sunil Chhetri handed the Blues a 9th-minute lead and Cleiton Silva doubled their advantage. However, a late surge from the Nizams saw Aridane Santana pulling one goal back before substitute Fran Sandaza netted a last gasp equalizer to salvage a point for Marquez’s men.
The former Las Palmas manager will be hopeful of getting Edu Garcia fit in time for this match as the Spaniard was not available against Jamshedpur but he is on the verge of regaining match fitness and can feature against his former employers. While there are chances of Marquez fielding the same lineup from the last match, the Spanish tactician might also make a few tweaks to the starting eleven as Aniket Jadhav hardly found any joy down the left flank against Jamshedpur and he might make way for Rohit Danu.
Though the final result paints a different picture, Pezzaiouli got his strategy absolutely spot on against Mumbai City, especially in the first half and would be looking forward to continue pairing up Silva with Prince Ibara up front. Despite what he has done for the club over the years, questions will be raised on Chhetri’s form who has hardly been visible in the first four games and failed to score from two penalty kicks. It will be interesting to see whether the German tactician takes a bold call and replaces the Indian icon with Udanta Singh.
Predicted Starting Lineups
Hyderabad (4-2-3-1): Laxmikant Kattimani; Asish Rai, Chinglensana Singh, Juanan Gonzalez, Akash Mishra; Joao Victor, Hitesh Sharma; Mohammed Yasir, Joel Chianese, Rohit Danu; Bartholomew Ogbeche.
Bengaluru (4-3-3): Gurpreet Singh Sandhu; Roshan Naorem, Pratik Chaudhuri, Alan Costa, Ashique Kuruniyan; Suresh Singh Wangjam, Bruno Ramires, Jayesh Rane; Cleiton Silva, Prince Ibara, Sunil Chhetri.
There has never been much to separate these two sides on paper and the head-to-head statistics also echo the same fact.
However, in terms of current form, Hyderabad has shown glimpses of brilliance in their splendid performance against Mumbai City. With a bit more consistency, the Nizams can trouble even the very best in business, whilst the Blues have looked lacklustre, often missing a cutting edge in attack. Hence, we have predicted a 2-1 win for Hyderabad.