Bengaluru FC will have plenty on their mind in the battle for top spot as they face laggard Hyderabad FC in their 2019-’20 Indian Super League clash at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Thursday.
Bengaluru FC can go a point clear at the top with a win, leapfrogging FC Goa and ATK, although having played a match more than both. Considering their record at home, the Blues will be favourites going into the match. They have won their last three matches at home and have conceded just four goals at the Kanteerava this season.
“I don’t feel the pressure. I think we need to get as many points as possible. Goa and ATK will be ahead of us, if they win all the games, so there is no pressure on us,” said Bengaluru FC coach Carles Cuadrat.
Bengaluru is coming off a 3-0 win over Odisha FC that saw striker Deshorn Brown get off the mark for them. Brown will once again be expected to lead the line against a Hyderabad defence that is yet to keep a clean sheet this season. With Brown leading the line, Sunil Chhetri can play from the left from where he has been very productive.
Bengaluru have also signed Spanish winger Nili Perdomo and he might get a go on the pitch at some point in the game.
“They (Hyderabad) have changed their tactics and are trying to work in a different way. But tomorrow, the most dangerous thing for us are their players and their coach. They want to show everybody that they are good enough to be on the team for the next season,” said Cuadrat, whose side was forced to settle for a 1-1 draw in the away clash.
Hyderabad are coming into this game after snatching a point against Mumbai City in a 1-1 draw at home. Though the visitors are yet to notch a point from their away games, new coach Javier Lopez will hope they can build on the result against Mumbai.
“The team is improving a lot. They (youngsters) are understanding our philosophy. We are trying to play as a team, and I think this is the way to success. We are going to Bengaluru to try and win the game,” Lopez said.
The likes of Marcelinho and Bobo will need to step up and lead the attack against a miser Bengaluru defence which has conceded just nine goals this season.
Adil Khan will also have a huge role to play after putting in an impressive display against Mumbai that saw him win the Man-of-the-Match award. With 19 clearances and five tackles, Adil has had a brilliant game and Lopez will hope the defender continues that form.