Hyderabad vs Rajasthan United: Preview and Prediction￼
After topping Group C in Durand Cup 2022, Hyderabad will square off against Rajasthan United in their quarter-final clash at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Monday.
Hyderabad finished Group C with three wins from four matches. They suffered a shock defeat to third-placed Army Red in their final group stage match and that must have shaken their confidence ahead of their crunch encounter.
Rajasthan United, on the other hand, sprung a surprise when they beat favorites ATK Mohun Bagan in their first-ever Durand Cup 2022 match. The odds were stacked against the I-League side in a group that featured East Bengal, Mumbai City, and the Mariners. But, the newly launched club from the western part of the country battled all the odds to pip ATK Mohun Bagan on a better head-to-head record and make their way into the knockout stages of the tournament.
Hyderabad started their Durand Cup campaign with a 2-0 win over TRAU thanks to strikes from Halicharan Narzary and Borja Herrera at either side of half-time. They followed it with a 3-1 comeback win over rival ISL club Chennaiyin as Joao Victor’s penalty and Bartholomew Ogbeche’s brace overturned the one-goal deficit the team found themselves into at the end of the first half.
Ogbeche struck a brace once again as Joel Chianese scored the other goal in Hyderabad’s 3-0 win over NEROCA. However, they fell prey to Suresh Meitei’s strike against Army Red as the Nizams succumbed to a 1-0 loss.
Rajasthan United came from behind twice to level the proceedings against ATK Mohun Bagan courtesy of goals from Bektur Amangeldiev and Lalremsanga Fanai. However, it was Gyamar Nikum who struck the final blow as his goal in the 95th minute of the game proved to be enough in Rajasthan’s 3-2 win.
They followed it with a goalless draw against East Bengal while succumbing to a 5-1 defeat against Mumbai City as Nikum’s goal turned out to be a mere consolation one this time. Requiring a win over the Indian Navy to qualify for the quarter-finals, Youssef Atriss and Sergio Barboza found the net to win the tie for Rajasthan 2-0.
Head to Head Record
This will be the first ever encounter between Hyderabad and Rajasthan United in any tournament. The I-League team itself was founded four years ago and has rubbed shoulders with only three ISL clubs so far.
Hyderabad coach Manolo Marquez made some changes up front against Army Red and it cost the team dearly as they lost the match. Bartholomew Ogbeche should return to the starting line-up and play the full ninety minutes in place of Aaren D’Silva. Joel Chianese and Hitesh Sharma could replace Mark Zothanpuia and C Lalchungnunga.
Joao Victor could start in the heart of the defense ahead of Soyal Joshy. Akash Mishra could also slot in the left-back position ahead of Manoj Mohammed. Rajasthan United should play with the same 4-4-2 position that beat the Indian Navy.
Predicted Starting XIs
Hyderabad (4-5-1): Lalbiakhlua Jongte; Akash Mishra, Chinglensana Singh, Joao Victor, Alex Saji; Sahil Tavora, Joel Chianese, Hitesh Sharma, Borja Gonzalez, Halicharan Narzary; Bartholomew Ogbeche
Rajasthan United (4-4-2): Vishal Joon; Melroy Assisi, Md Fayazuddin, Aidar Mambetaliev, Hardik Bhatt; Bektur Amangaldiev, William Pauliankhum, Ragav Gupta, F Lalremsanga; Youssef Atriss, Martin Chaves
Rajasthan United showed grit and perseverance against ISL sides ATK Mohun Bagan and East Bengal. However, they were no match for Mumbai City. It looks difficult for them to stand up to the likes of Ogbeche and Joao Victor, who were rested for Hyderabad’s game against Army Red. With the team returning to their best eleven, we predict Hyderabad to win the match 3-0.