Hyderabad: After a thrilling 1-0 victory over Jamshedpur, Manolo Marquez’s Hyderabad FC are back in action when they take on Kerala Blasters in a promising Indian Super League encounter at the GMC Balayogi Athletic Stadium in Gachibowli, this Saturday night.
Hyderabad, currently on the top of the league table, have 16 points from their first six games, which remains the joint-best start to the league season in the ISL history, at this stage. The Blasters have nine points from six games, and can move up to third position with a win in this game.
Ivan Vukomanovic’s side come into this game after back-to-back victories in the league, after an indifferent start to their campaign. The likes of Dimitrios Diamantakos, Adrian Luna, Sahal Abdul Samad and Rahul KP have all got on the scoresheet while Ivan Kaliuzhnyi leads the list of goalscorers this season, with four to his name.
Prabhsukhan Gill has been well supported by Marko Leskovic, Hormipam Ruivah, Nishu Kumar and Sandeep Singh, who have proven hard to beat in the last two games.
Speaking to the media ahead of this tie, HFC Head Coach Manolo Marquez said that this will be a tough game for his side. “All our games against the Blasters in the last season were close and tough. This match will be no different and we need to be at the top of our game to continue our good run,” said the Spaniard.
Hyderabad, who saw Mohammad Yasir score back-to-back winners, have now kept five consecutive clean sheets, with the likes of Javi Siverio, Halicharan Narzary, Borja Herrera, Joao Victor and Bartholomew Ogbeche already getting a taste of scoring.
But it has been their staunch defense, which is currently the best in the league, that has given them a head start at the top of the league table. But shot-stopper Laxmikant Kattimani was stretchered off in the game against Jamshedpur and is likely to miss out on a fair chunk of the campaign.
However, Coach Manolo is optimistic about his side’s chances in this tie. “We know the results have favored us but there were games where we could have conceded. We have to be better on Saturday against a tough Kerala Blasters side,” he added.
Both teams play out some close encounters and Manolo expects this game to be a feast for the neutral. “Both teams come into this game in a good moment, and I think this game will be a really good watch for the fans,” Manolo said.
The game kicks-off at 7:30 pm IST on Saturday and will be telecasted live on the Star Sports Network with live streaming on Disney+ Hotstar and JioTV.