As Manuel Marquez’s Hyderabad FC lock horns with Robbie Fowler’s SC East Bengal in the Indian Super League (ISL), it is going to be yet another intriguing battle between two sides that are yet to reach their full potential. The Red and Golds are yet to win a game this season but will be looking to build on their hard-fought draw against Jamshedpur FC. Contrastingly, the Nizams haven’t lost this season till now but will be looking for all three points after three consecutive draws.
This will be the first time that these two teams will be facing each other. SC East Bengal are still searching for their first goal this season. However, it would be a difficult ask against a resolute Hyderabad defence that has conceded just 2 goals in 4 matches. They are also the most disciplined side this term having seen the least number of yellow and red cards.
Hyderabad were able to see off the danger of Roy Krishna in their last game against ATK Mohun Bagan and will be expected to go with the same back-4. Joel Chianese and Lluis Sastre are still injured but the return of Aridane Santana should be a huge boost. The heartwarming aspect about their campaign so far has been the mature performances from their young Indian contingent. The likes of Akash Mishra, Asish Rai, Liston Colaco, Mohammad Yasir and Hitesh Sharma have all been impressive while senior pros like Nikhil Poojary and Halicharan Narzary have supported them ably. They’ll be coming into the game as strong favourites and it remains to be seen if that puts undue pressure on these youngsters.
For SC East Bengal, the 10-man draw against Jamshedpur FC should have lifted the morale of the side after three successive defeats. Also, Jeje’s return to the starting eleven should give the side better attacking balance. That being said, Robbie Fowler’s wards have to cut down on the silly errors that they have been making. Eugeneson Lyngdoh’s unnecessary lunge against Jamshedpur, for which he saw a red card, comes to mind while speaking of this. At the moment, they look like eleven individual players on the pitch and not a team. For that to change, you’d think that the foreign stars like Jacques Maghoma and Anthony Pilkington would have to deliver the goods sooner rather than later.
Predicted Lineups and Result
Subrata Paul; Asish Rai, Chinglensana Singh, Odei Onaindia, Akash Mishra; Joao Victor, Hitesh Sharma; Nikhil Poojary, Liston Colaco, Halicharan Narzary; Aridane Santana
SC East Bengal:
Debjit Majumder; Scott Neville, Sehnaj Singh, Mohamad Irshad; Surchandra Singh, Matti Steinmann, Wahengbam Luwang, Narayan Das; Jacques Maghoma, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Anthony Pilkington
TV Channel and Livestream
The match will be telecast across Star Network’s sports and regional channels. The match can be streamed live on Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV. Kick-off is at 7:30 pm.