It has been a mixed campaign for Hyderabad FC so far in the Indian Super League (ISL). Manuel Marquez's side was unbeaten after five games but back-to-back defeats have seen them slip to eighth on the points table. Another stern test in FC Goa awaits them at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Wednesday but the Gaurs' defensive woes will provide Hyderabad the hope to get back on track. (More Football News)
Sixth-placed Goa have been among the most fearsome attacking teams this season, having scored 10 goals so far. However, in defense, they have found it hard to keep things tight, conceding nine goals while recording just one clean sheet. Seven of them have come through set-pieces — the most by a team this season.
Marquez is aware of Goa's defensive struggles and knows his team will have their chances to win. The Nizams, who have often been guilty of missing chances this season, will need to ensure they need to be clinical in front of goal.
"These kinds of things (conceding goals) are normal in football," Marquez said on FC Goa. 'If you are an offensive team, you can have problems in defense and vice versa. Goa have an offensive style because they arrive with a lot of players when they attack. They have very good players, everybody knows that. It's not only about Igor Angulo but also their midfielders and forwards. But for their defence sometimes, when the other team is in counter-attack, there are less defenders than attackers and it becomes very difficult to defend."
Hyderabad have scored just six goals this season, with only Kerala Blasters and SC East Bengal scoring less. But they have shown they can be threatening from set-pieces, through which they have scored half their goals.
This presents a tough challenge for Goa, but coach Juan Ferrando is more focused on preparing the team for defensive situations despite the lack of clean sheets.
"Firstly, I'm not worried if we concede three goals, but we score four," said Ferrando. "About the set-pieces, we need to put attention to why. It's important to connect. When we are working in the defensive line, it's important to understand the moment of the timing to attack the ball, who is better in free space, zone, and man-to-man. In this case, we need time because it's necessary to change (players) game by game, depending on the opponents".
Head-to-head: This will be their third meeting in the ISL. FC Goa have won both the matches last season.
All you need to know about the Hyderabad FC Vs FC Goa match:
Match: 43rd match of ISL 2020-21 between Hyderabad FC and FC Goa
Date: December 30 (Wednesday), 2020.
Time: 7:30 PM IST
Venue: Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco, Goa
TV Listing: Star Sports 1/HD, Star Sports 2/HD (English); Star Sports Hindi 1/HD, Star Sports 3, Star Gold 2 (Hindi), Asianet Plus, Asianet Movies (Malayalam); Star Sports Bangla; Star Sports Kannada; Star Sports Tamil; Star Sports Telugu and Star Sports Marathi.
Live Streaming: Online streaming will be available on Disney+ Hotstar VIP and JioTV.
Hyderabad FC: Subrata Paul; Asish Rai, Odei Onaindia, Chinglensena Konsham, Akash Mishra; Joao Victor, Hitesh Sharma; Nikhil Poojary, Mohammed Yasir, Halicharan Narzary; Aridane Santana.
FC Goa: Mohammad Nawaz; Seriton Fernandes, Ivan Gonzalez, James Donachie, Saviour Gama; Edu Bedia, Lenny Rodrigues; Alexander Jesuraj, Brandon Fernandes, Jorge Mendoza Ortiz; Igor Angulo.