Hyderabad vs Chennaiyin: Preview and Prediction
The arrival of Matchday 15 signifies that the 2022-23 Indian Super League season is nearing the business end. In the top, the tripartite struggle is going on among Mumbai City, Hyderabad, and Kerala Blasters for the League Winners’ Shield whereas ATK Mohun Bagan, Odisha, and Goa are looking to consolidate their playoff spots with Chennaiyin leading the pack from the Bottom 5.
Hyderabad kick-off Matchday 15 against Chennaiyin at the G.M.C Balayogi Athletic Stadium in Hyderabad. When these two teams met in the Marina Arena, it was Hyderabad who came up as the clear winner. This high-octane clash is tipped to be a high-scoring affair as Hyderabad and Chennaiyin are the second (27) and third (23) in the goalscoring charts in the league and there is no doubt that their goalkeepers will have a tough day at the office.
On Thursday, all eyes will be on the latest hat-trick scorer Bartholomew Ogbeche, who is also the leading top scorer for the club (6) this season, as he can propel Hyderabad to finish this matchday at the top by getting all three points against the Marina Machans, as Mumbai City face a tricky fixture. This home fixture becomes more vital for Manolo Marquez’s team as they are going to spend the next three match weeks away from home.
All said and done, the task is not going to be easy for Hyderabad as they face resilient Chennaiyin. The comeback against Jamshedpur after going 0-2 down in the last match once again reiterated their character.
While Ogbeche and co. can aim for all three points at the Gachibowli stadium, Peter Sliskovic might spoil their party. The target man has at least one goal contribution in seven out of the last eight games. The Akash Sangwan and Sliskovic combination is what the away team look to rely on in this fixture.
Hyderabad is flying high in the current edition of the ISL after being second in the points table. They have registered a win in each of their last five games after going down 1-0 to ATK Mohun Bagan in November. They started this streak against Chennaiyin at the Marina Machans’ own backyard winning that game 3-1. They followed that win by registering a 2-0 victory against East Bengal.
Hyderabad then blanked Bengaluru 3-0 whilst being on the road and then crushed league minnows NorthEast United 6-1. The Nizams then registered their third consecutive win on the road by winning 3-1 against Goa.
Chennaiyin has had a mixed season currently being in the seventh position and a win in this game will get them closer to a sixth-place spot that is important for the playoff qualifications. They have however won just one of their last six games wherein they have bagged just five points during the same period. They were trailing 2-0 against Jamshedpur in their last game in the competition but two second-half goals ensured they win one point to get their 15th point this season.
Head to Head Record
This will just be the eighth encounter in this fixture in the Indian Super League with both teams winning three games each. Only one game between the two sides has ended in a draw. Hyderabad won the reverse fixture between the two sides played in December by a 3-1 margin with Halicharan Narzary, Chinglensana Singh and Borja Herrera scoring for the Nizams while the lone goal by Chennaiyin coming from Petar Sliskovic.
Hyderabad, thus, will be aiming to record their second double over Chennaiyin in the Indian Super League after having already done so in the 2020/21 season.
Given their current form and lack of injury worries, Hyderabad could field a similar starting lineup to their last game. Thus we can see the likes of Rohit Danu and Halicharan Narzary in the wings with Bartholomew Ogbeche behind striker Javier Siverio in the attack.
Chennaiyin, on the other hand, has a couple of injury worries. Goalkeeper Debjit Majumder has been ruled out of the game due to a groin injury. Nasser El Khayati, who last made an appearance against Kerala Blasters, could also be on the treatment table.
Predicted Starting XIs
Hyderabad (4-2-3-1): Gurmeet Singh; Nikhil Poojary, Nim Dorjee, Odei Onaindia, Akash Mishra; Hitesh Sharma, Borja Herrera; Rohit Danu, Bartholomew Ogbeche, Halicharan Narzary; Javier Siverio
Chennaiyin (4-2-3-1): Samik Mitra; Ajith Kumar, Fallou Diagne, Vafa Hakhamaneshi, Akash Sangwan; Julius Duker, Edwin Vanspaul; Prasanth K, Anirudh Thapa, Vincy Barretto; Petar Sliskovic
Hyderabad maintained their impressive run of form as they made it five successive wins by defeating Goa in their contest last week. The hosts will be confident of recording another success here as they host Chennaiyin with the away side winning just one of their last six matches.
They played out a draw with Jamshedpur last week but that is now no win in their last three and with Hyderabad losing just one of their seven home games so far this season, the hosts have to be fancied to make it six straight victories.