Hyderabad vs Mohun Bagan Super Giant: Preview and Prediction
The reigning champions Mohun Bagan Super Giant are back in the Indian Super League from continental saga to resume their domestic campaign. They will be summoned by the Nizams from Hyderabad who will be gracing Matchday 10 in search of maiden triumph.
This anticipated clash will be hosted by Kalinga Stadium of Bhubaneswar which is acting as the secondary home venue for the Deccan Legion amidst the ongoing Telangana State Assembly elections.
The champions of the 2021-22 edition are having their worst campaign since their debut season in 2019-20 where they finished the league stage at the bottom-most position. Hyderabad is yet to register its maiden win this season and has currently occupied the 12th spot in the points table.
Meanwhile, the Green and Maroon Brigade remains the only side which hasn’t dropped points yet and has managed to maintain an invincible record. After getting eliminated from the continental AFC Cup saga, gaffer Juan Ferrando and his boys will now be focusing on the domestic crown.
The Nizams clashed with the southern counterparts Kerala Blasters and ended up suffering their fourth defeat in the seventh game of the season.
It was a rough contest of football where the Telangana-based outfit managed to take the edge in ball possession and attempted shots but couldn’t convert the statistics into actual breakthroughs. A 41st-minute goal from the Montenegrin central defender Milos Drincic kept the visitors pointless at Kochi.
On the other hand, the current form is also something that MBSG team management has to work on, especially, after having a horrific end to their AFC Cup journey. They were thrashed by the neighborhood rivals Odisha 5-2 in a do-or-die game which meant the Kolkata giants will not compete in the knockout stages of the AFC Cup for continental glory.
Interestingly, MBSG opened the scorelines in both of the previous games but could not hold the commanding position for a long time.
These two ISL powerhouses have squared off against each other 10 times in the Indian top-flight setting the stage for many thrilling encounters. The Mariners have a slight advantage in the head-to-head record of this rivalry with three victories over the Nizams who emerged only twice.
The rage to win and not letting the opponent take all three points is so much in both of these combatants that half of their clashes have ended on an equivalent scoreline at the end of the regulation time.
The 2022-23 edition witnessed four chapters of this rivalry taking place in a single season including two play-off clashes. Across the two legs of the semi-final round, the scoreline remained 0-0 as even the added extra time of 30 minutes could break the deadlock between the two title contenders. Finally, the second-round encounter headed into penalties and MBSG edged past the Nizams 4-3 to book final tickets on home turf.
Injuries have been the only drawback for the MBSG boss this season as the list of unavailable Green and Maroon knights is getting bigger every day. Two offensive players Dimitri Petratos and Manvir Singh are the latest addition to this list and the consequences of their absence were evident in the AFC Cup exit.
The Australian striker Jason Cummings needs to step up and acquire a helming role in the starting lineup rather than depending on others during his tough day.
Hyderabad skipper Joao Victor could not make it to the Starting XI against the Blasters and it turned out to be one of the main reasons behind their failure.
The Kerala-born youngster Mohammed Rafi had an eventful outing recently and seems to have earned the trust of coach Thangboi Singto on the right-wing position. The only Indian head coach of the ISL 10 is also expected to come up with refreshing team combinations after the break.
Predicted Starting XIs
Mohun Bagan SG (3-4-1-2): Vishal Kaith; Brendan Hamill, Hector Yuste, Subashish Bose; Asish Rai, Anirudh Thapa, Glan Martins, Liston Colaco; Sahal Abdul Samad; Armando Sadiku, Jason Cummings
Hyderabad (3-4-2-1): Gurmeet Singh Chahal; Nikhil Poojari, Chinglensana Singh, Oswaldo Alanis; Mohammed Rafi, Sahil Tavora, Joao Victor, Mark Zothanpuia; Mohammad Yasir, Joe Knowles, Jonathan Moya
It’s crystal clear that Mohun Bagan Super Giant is the standing favorite to win this encounter and claim all three points against the Southerners. Whether it’s head-to-head record league stage form or other squad strength, each and every prediction aspect hints towards a comfortable win for the Mariners.
Playing in front of a home crowd could have worked for the Nizams but the fixture has been shifted to Bhubaneswar and it seems even tougher for them to fetch any point against the Kolkata Invincibles.