Hyderabad: After back-to-back 1-1 draws in the Indian Super League, Hyderabad FC are back in action just a couple of days after their last game, when they travel to the capital city of Delhi for the first time in their history.
The Nawabs take on Punjab FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi, on Tuesday, November 7, in what is expected to be a thrilling game of football.
Both teams have just two points on board, are placed at the bottom end of the table, and will look to register their first win of the campaign in this game.
Staikos Vergetis’ side pulled out draws against Jamshedpur and East Bengal, but lost to Chennaiyin and Mumbai City in the last two games. With a struggling defence, Punjab have conceded more goals than any other team in the league to date.
Melroy Melvin is back after a suspension but Dimitris Chatziisaias will miss this game for the Red he picked up against the Islanders.
Luka Majcen and Juan Mera will be the danger men in attack while Krishnananda Singh, former HFC defender Nikhil Prabhu, Suresh Metei and Nitesh Darjee have all been consistent and Coach Conor Nestor thinks they have been unlucky with the results so far this season.
“For me the Mumbai game shows the quality Punjab have,” said the HFC First Team Coach. “They were extremely unlucky not to pick up points. They are very well organized and have players who can hurt you,” he added.
Hyderabad, who have now picked up two points from their last two games, will hope to put in a stronger performance in this tie. Jonathan Moya, Felipe Amorim, Joe Knowles and Aaren D’Silva are yet to find the back of the net while the Nawabs are also yet to keep a clean sheet, all of which they will look to change in this game.
The likes of Oswaldo Alanis, Nikhil Poojary, Chinglensana Konsham, Nim Dorjee Tamang in front of Gurmeet Singh have been solid for most of the season but will have their work cut out against the likes of Majcen and Mera in Punjab’s attack.
Hyderabad were in action on Saturday and have had just a couple of days of preparation going into this game. However, coach Conor believes his side have no excuses on Tuesday.
“With the quick turnaround we have no ‘preparing time’ just ‘recovery time’,” he said.
“But that’s the demands of this league and we have to attack the game with intensity,” he added.
Both teams have found goals hard to come by so far this season but a strong performance in this game can lift either team a couple of places in the points table, making this a crucial game for two sides who are yet to find their best form.
This will be Hyderabad’s first ever visit to Delhi, and they will look to make it a memorable one and head into the international break on a high.
The game kicks-off at 8:00pm IST on Tuesday, November 7, and will be telecasted live on Sports 18 and VH1, with free streaming on Jio Cinema.