Hyderabad: After tough back-to-back losses to kick off their 2023-24 Indian Super League campaign, Hyderabad FC are back in action after the international break, when they take on fellow South Indian foes, Chennaiyin FC, at the GMC Balayogi Athletic Stadium in Gachibowli, on Monday, October 23.
Action returns to the Maidaan for the first time in over six months, after Hyderabad’s opening clash against FC Goa, scheduled a month ago, in Hyderabad was postponed earlier in the campaign.
Owen Coyle’s men, like Hyderabad, are yet to get off the mark on the current season’s points table. Chennaiyin come into this game on the back of three back-to-back losses but will look to turn things around on Monday.
The likes of Rafael Crivellaro, Connor Shield, Ninthoinganba Meetei, Farukh Choudhary, Lazar Cirkovic and Yumkhaibam Joteshwor have all been impressive in stints while Jordan Murray is expected to be back in action on Monday.
CFC will be a tough task for Hyderabad in this clash, believes HFC’s First Team Coach Conor Nestor. “They have been a little unlucky so far. They have created many chances in the three games. A little bit like us – lady luck hasn’t shined on them yet,” he said, speaking before the game.
Hyderabad are also without a point, going into this game, after back to back losses in Kolkata and Jamshedpur. But with the home fans behind them, the Nawabs will look to get off the mark in the ISL points table on Monday.
Hitesh Sharma remains the only goalscorer for HFC, but the likes of Joe Knowles, Felipe Amroim, Aaren D’Silva, Mohammad Yasir and Petteri Pennanen have all been effective in the final third.
Gurmeet Singh on goal, Nikhil Poojary, Nim Dorjee Tamang and Chinglensana have also been solid while Joao Victor has also done well to marshal the midfield, and keep the ball moving.
Coach Conor Nestor is optimistic, and can’t wait to get his first taste of action at the Maidaan. “The players have worked hard for the game and we are all happy our first game in front of the fans is upon us,” he said.
Though Laxmikant Kattimani is ruled out after an injury he picked in Kolkata, Hyderabad have all other players available for selection as we could see Jonathan Moya and Oswaldo Alanis in action on Monday.
Cristian Battocchio picked up an injury in the last game and could struggle to make it into the squad for the visitors, who also have a host of options to chose from ahead of this game.
The game kicks-off at 8:00 pm IST on Monday, October 23, and will be telecasted live on Sports 18 and VH1, with free streaming on Jio Cinema.