Defending champion Hyderabad FC will play its first home game after the pandemic when it takes on Bengaluru FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the GMC Balayogi Stadium here on Saturday.
With a decent crowd expected for the week-end clash, HFC is keen to sustain the momentum after an impressive 3-0 win over NorthEast United in the second game (the first match against Mumbai City FC was a 3-3 draw). Both the teams, with a win and a draw each, have four points from two matches.
At the pre-match briefing, HFC head coach Manolo Marquez was quick to stress that BFC, which had knocked out HFC in the recent Durand Cup, would be a formidable challenge given the style of aggressive play they adopt straight away.
Though HFC is pleased with the defenders’ show in the last game, it will be looking for an all-round improvement given the fact that BFC has some of the best players in the League itself including the great Sunil Chhetri.
The combination of captain Joao Victor, Bartholomew Ogbeche, Halicharan Narzary, Javier Siverio and Borja Herrera upfront with support from winger Mohammed Yasir will hold the key to the fortunes of the home team.
BFC head coach Simon Grayson said his team was a good blend of experience and young talent.
Foreign recruits Aleksandar Jovanovic and Alan Costa, midfielder Bruno Ramires, Javi Hernandez along with strikers Prince Ibara and Roy Krishna joined by Chhetri could well test the best of the defences on their day. Sivasakthi Narayanan, who was the top-scorer in the Durand Cup with five goals, can be a dangerous customer too.