Hyderabad: After a morale-boosting 1-0 win over the Mariners, Manolo Marquez’s Hyderabad FC are back in action when they welcome Jamshedpur FC to the GMC Balayogi Athletic Stadium in Gachibowli, in a 5:30 pm kick-off on Saturday, February 18.
HFC, who play their third game in eight days, have booked their place in the semi-finals. The visitors are out of the race to the playoffs but both teams will want to end the season on a high and will fight for all three points from this game.
Aidy Boothroyd’s side put in strong performances against ATK Mohun Bagan, Mumbai City, and NorthEast United in the last three games and look a side that could be tough to beat.
The addition of Rafael Crivellaro and the form of Ritwik Das, Boris Thangjam, Pronay Halder, Jay Thomas, Daniel Chukwu, and TP Rehnesh have turned Jamshedpur into a dangerous side in recent games.
“Jamshedpur has been playing really well in recent games. I think they have now found the right balance in the team and have good players with great quality which makes them a tough side,” said Manolo.
“They are showing the level they have now. They have found their style and system and with this team, they could have been fighting for the playoffs. So, I am sure this will be a difficult game for my side,” he added.
Hyderabad FC put on a solid display to beat ATK Mohun Bagan in the last game and will hope for a similar outing in what will be the last league game at the Maidaan this season.
Bartholomew Ogbeche scored the winner that night, moving to eight goals for the season. Borja Herrera, Javi Siverio, Joel Chianese, Mohammad Yasir and Halicharan Narzary have been effective in attack while Chinglensana Konsham, Nim Dorjee Tamang, Nikhil Poojary, Akash Mishra, Odei Onaindia and Gurmeet Singh have done their job to help Hyderabad stand as the best defensive side the league this season.
However, with a place in the semi-final booked, Manolo Marquez might ring in the changes ahead of this clash.
“We might play a few players tomorrow who are not usually in the lineup. But they have been training really well and deserve to play,” said Manolo.
“We want to win tomorrow, and we cannot relax yet. I am sure our players are hungry and will be ready for this tough game,” the Spaniard added.
Hyderabad will want to build some momentum going into the playoffs and end their league phase at home on a high.
Like in the reverse fixture that was decided by just a goal, Jamshedpur FC could prove to be a difficult test, and this promises to be an iconic Indian Super League clash, in Hyderabad.
The game kicks off at 5:30 pm IST on Saturday, and will be telecasted live on the Star Sports Network with live streaming on Disney+ Hotstar and JioTV.