The next match in the ongoing Indian Super League (ISL) is between Jamshedpur FC and Hyderabad FC. Both outfits are flying high at the moment after impressive results in their previous games. The Men of Steel emerged 3-1 winners over FC Goa while the Nizams caused an upset by defeating Mumbai City FC by 3-1 as well. Both JFC and HFC have similar ambitions this year, and their top objective is to finally finish amongst the top-four positions.
Owen Coyle has a good squad on his hands with several similar faces from last season. On the other hand, Manolo Marquez has a fresh foreign contingent barring Joel Chianese to work with. There is a wealth of talent in both teams as they look upwards and onwards in the league. This clash at the GMC Athletic Stadium in Bambolim is important due to the proximity of the outfits in terms of league standings. Gaining three points over direct candidates for a playoffs position will be a huge advantage in the latter stages of the season.
Having said that, the match between JFC and HFC is going to be very entertaining for both sets of fans and the neutrals. Here are the five things one can expect from this ISL matchup:
Hyderabad FC's first-ever win over Jamshedpur FC
Interestingly, the Nizams have never defeated the Men of Steel in the ISL. The two outfits have met a total of four times prior and three of those encounters were drawn while the first meeting ended 3-1 in JFC's favor.
Since both clubs are not part of the original ISL lineup and took part in the competition much later, they have not played a lot against each other. As mentioned, HFC has never defeated their next opponents in the ISL. They will certainly take that as motivation and aim to write a new script.
Lots of brilliant Indian players on display
Jamshedpur FC and Hyderabad FC are popular for giving a lot of game time to Indian players, especially the latter. Manolo Marquez built a reputation last season for trusting young Indian players and his faith did reap a lot of rewards. As for JFC, the squad has some serious local talent who can be unplayable on their day.
Players like Narender Gahlot, Ishan Pandita and Komal Thatal will represent the Indian talent within JFC's ranks. On the other hand, players like Asish Rai, Akash Mishra, and Rohit Danu among many others will take the field for HFC. For the Indian football fans who are passionate followers of local footballers, this tie will be one not to miss.
A clash of philosophies
Owen Coyle and Manolo Marquez are two of the most respected and experienced head coaches in the ISL. The tacticians have had long careers in football coaching and management and their knowledge of the game is exceptional. Both gaffers come from different backgrounds and work with different philosophies.
Marquez's Hyderabad plays beautiful possession-based football which is reminiscent of his Spanish roots. On the other hand, Coyle's teams are tough to break down and have a direct approach, symbolic of English or Scottish football. The upcoming match will be an entertaining clash of two different football philosophies.
Lots of goals
This year's Indian Super League is seeing one goal-fest after another. In 14 matches, 54 goals have gone in and both HFC and JFC scored three each in their last matches respectively. The trend suggests this upcoming clash will also see a lot of goals and there is a lot of attacking talent to facilitate that.
Nerijus Valskis scored a brilliant brace in the game against FC Goa and he will be hungry for more. In the other corner, Bartholomew Ogbeche opened his account for the season against MCFC and he will be an obvious threat going forward.
The emergence of a new top-four candidate
This upcoming clash has huge stakes and bragging rights on offer. Both JFC and HFC are in a similar situation where they must take the next step and finish amongst the playoffs positions. This makes their direct competition for each other and a win will be a huge advantage.
Whether Jamshedpur wins tomorrow or Hyderabad, the league will see the emergence of a new top-four favorite for sure. With the Gaurs struggling for form and the unpredictability of the league, both these teams will go all guns blazing for the win.