ISL 2019-20: Kerala Blasters v Hyderabad FC match prediction, preview and where to watch
Both teams have been ravaged by injuries throughout the course of the season, but they haven't helped themselves, with elementary errors costing points throughout the season, particularly for Kerala Blasters.
Eelco Schattorie's men are worse off currently, than they were at the same stage of last season, after which then-head coach David James was sacked. The Dutchman laughed off any suggestions that he might be on the chopping block, saying the club might not be in a position to be able to sack another head coach.
For Hyderabad, Bobo's inclusion in the side has given them some bite in attack, but they still have been porous at the back, with the ISL's newest team conceding 21 goals in 10 games so far, the worst defensive record this season.
Kerala Blasters v Hyderabad FC: Match Information
Date: 6th January 2019
Kickoff: 7:30 pm IST
Live Stream: Star Sports Network and Hotstar
Venue: Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium, Kochi
Kerala Blasters v Hyderabad FC: Team News
Kerala have more injury worries, with Mario Arques joining Sergio Cidoncha on the treatment table. Schattorie said that Arques had trouble with his quadricep and that he is a doubtful starter for this game.
But still, the Dutchman knows he cannot keep chopping and changing, and that his best players need to take the field, especially with the Blasters having no wins in their last nine games.
Hyderabad, on the other hand, haven't won a game against any opposition other than Kerala Blasters. But since then, they've found goals from Bobo, they've found creativity from Nestor Gordillo, and they always have the maverick ability of Marcelinho.
Kamaljit Singh's form, though, is a massive concern. The goalkeeper started the season off with the captain's armband, but it has gone all downhill from there, with several errors leading to opposition goals. It would be interesting to see if Phil Brown sticks with the under-fire 'keeper, or turns to the experience of Laxmikant Kattimani.
Kerala Blasters v Hyderabad FC: Probable Lineups
Kerala Blasters: TP Rehenesh, Mohammad Rakip, Raju Gaikwad, Vlatko Drobarov, Jessel Carneiro, Jeakson Singh, Mousthapha Gning, Sahal Abdul Samad, Seityasen Singh, Bartholomew Ogbeche, Prasanth Karuthadathkuni
Hyderabad FC: Kamaljit Singh, Asish Rai, Matthew Kilgallon, Gurtej Singh, Nikhil Poojary, Adil Khan, Rohit Kumar, Nestor Gordillo, Giles Barnes, Marcelinho, Bobo
Kerala Blasters v Hyderabad FC: ISL Form Guide
Kerala Blasters: L-D-D-D-L
Hyderabad FC: L-D-L-L-D
Kerala Blasters v Hyderabad FC Head-to-Head
In the first meeting between the two sides earlier this season, Hyderabad ran out 2-1 winners after Rahul KP had put Kerala in the lead in the first half.
A penalty from Marko Stankovic equalised for Hyderabad before Marcelinho's majestic free-kick secured the side's first-ever ISL win.
Kerala Blasters wins: 0
Hyderabad FC wins: 1
Kerala Blasters v Hyderabad FC Prediction
In a clash between two sides horribly bereft of any kind of confidence, it is not easy to see which way this one could swing.
Overall, Kerala have played slightly better football than Hyderabad over the course of the season, but in Bobo and Marcelinho, Hyderabad possess two maverick match-winners, who could turn this tie on their own.
Prediction: Kerala Blasters 1-2 Hyderabad FC