HFC vs FCG: With the chasing pack snapping at their heels, Hyderabad FC will look to leave no stone unturned in their bid to consolidate their place at the top of the heap when they take on FC Goa in the Hero Indian Super League at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim on Saturday. Follow all the ISL 2021-22 LIVE Updates only on Insidesport.IN
Hyderabad are on 29 points from 16 games but have ATK Mohun Bagan breathing down their neck having the same number of points but with a game in hand. The Mariners take on Kerala Blasters earlier in the day but Manolo Marquez would want his wards to decide their own fate with a win on Saturday which would all but secure their place in the semifinals.
Hyderabad are currently in the midst of their best-ever season. In their last match, they equalled their record points total in a single season of 29 points, in just 16 matches. They have also won eight matches this season, the most they have managed in a single season.
Coming up 👉 Round 1⃣8⃣!
— Hyderabad FC (@HydFCOfficial) February 18, 2022
Bartholomew Ogbeche has been in the form of his life for Hyderabad, scoring 14 goals so far but for Marquez the pleasing fact is that others have also contributed with goals and assists making the team click. Javier Siverio was handed a start in the last game and he rewarded his coach with a crucial goal as they won 2-1 against Bengaluru FC. Siverio now has six goal contributions with only Ogbeche involved in more goals for the club.
Joao Victor also scored in the previous encounter and now has four goals to his name, his best-ever return in a single season.
“Every game is very difficult. Against FC Goa, it will be the same. Yes, their top-four hopes are all but gone but they will try to finish as high as possible in the table,” Marquez said.
“FC Goa is one of the best teams in the league and they have had their challenges. We have to be at our best. There are six teams and four places and some teams have more games to play. So the table is not real and we are on top but after I don’t know how many days. So the opponents are closer to us every time. We need to go step by step,” he added.
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FC Goa, meanwhile, are not mathematically out of the semis race but realistically the defeat to ATK Mohun Bagan the other night virtually ended all their hopes. Goa are in the ninth spot with 18 points from 17 matches.
“It’s really tough now. In fact, we have to just play for pride I feel. We have to go with the same intention to do well and get the best results. These are difficult times but we will look to give our best as always,” said FC Goa head coach Derrick Pereira.
“We are in the process of building a team for the future. There are a lot of youngsters and they will get an opportunity to perform,” he added. Glan Martins is suspended for the game against Hyderabad FC, Pereira confirmed. The last time the two sides met, it was a 1-1 stalemate.
Hyderabad FC: WWWLW
FC Goa: DLDWL
Head to head
Hyderabad FC have faced FC Goa a total of five times in the Indian Super League. Out of all the five clashes, the current ISL league leaders are winless against the Gaurs. FC Goa have three victories and the other two matches have ended in stalemates.
The first leg of this fixture ended in a 1-1 draw as Airam Cabrera scored for FC Goa whereas Joel Chianese bagged a goal for the Nizams.
Predicted Starting Lineups
Hyderabad FC Probable Starting XI: Laxmikant Kattimani, Asish Rai, Juanan, Chinglensana Singh, Akash Mishra, Souvik Chakrabarti, Joao Victor, Nikhil Poojari, Edu Garcia, Aniket Jadhav, Bartholomew Ogbeche.
FC Goa Probable Starting XI: Dheeraj Singh, Seriton Fernandes, Anwar Ali, Ivan Gonzalez, Aiban Dohling, Edu Bedia, Glan Martins, Brandon Fernandes, Alberto Noguera, Makan Chothe, Jorge Ortiz.
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