Indian Super League (ISL) side Hyderabad FC had a disastrous inaugural season in the 2019-20 calendar year. The Nizams finished at the bottom of the table and have been forced to make a complete overhaul of the squad. They have brought in Manuel Marquez to take charge of the team and made some key foreigner signings to rejuvenate the squad.
How will Hyderabad FC line up?
Goalkeeper: Subrata Paul
India's former number one Subrata Paul is expected to continue getting the nod ahead of the young keepers in the squad. Paul has been consistent over the last several years despite missing out on retaining his spot in the Indian national men's team.
Paul has had a decent 2019-20 season with Jamshedpur FC with 2 clean-sheets and an overall record of conceding 1.73 goals per game. Hyderabad FC also have options in Laxmikant Kattimani along with the young keepers like Manas Dubey and Lalbiakhlua Jongte.
Defense: Odei Onaindia, Chinglensana Singh, Sahil Panwar, Souvik Chakrabarti
The Nizams have a formidable Indian line-up in defense. Their depth in defense has allowed them to focus on the attacking department in the upcoming season. Spanish central defender Odei Onaindia will act as the leader of the defense, courtesy his immense experience. He will be accompanied by experienced Indian campaigner Chinglensana Singh in the middle.
Sahil Panwar will once again take the left full-back position. Experienced and sturdy defensive midfielder Souvik Chakrabarti can perhaps play as a makeshift right-back in the four-defense setup.
Hyderabad FC also have Asish Rai, Kynsailang Khongsit and Akash Mishra as backup options in the defense.
Midfield: Adil Khan, Joao Victor, Luis Sastre, Joel Chianese, Laldanmawia Ralte
Adil Khan will lead the side and play in front of the defense to provide the much-needed support to his central defensive partner, Joao Victor. Khan can play both as a central defender and a central defensive midfielder.
With Hyderabad FC's defensive setup, it is expected that the 32-year-old will be used as a blocker behind the midfield. Khan's aerial prowess and tactical abilities will make him useful in set-piece situations.
Ahead of the defensive midfield, new signing Lluis Sastre will take the primary position of the central midfielder in the team. Sastre will need to be at his creative high and be the source of chances for the strikers. He will be paired up with Laldanmawia Ralte and Joel Chianese on either wings.
While Laldanmawia Ralte will take the right wing and hope to repeat the quality of his stints at Aizawl FC and SC East Bengal, Joel Chianese can be used in his secondary position of a left winger. However, if the formation tweaks from a 4-2-3-1 formation to 4-1-3-2, Chianese can be used as a secondary striker beside marksman Aridane Santana. Chianese will be key to Hyderabad FC's attacking moves and can score some goals as well.
Forward: Aridane Santana
Aridane Santana was excellent in the first half of the 2019-20 season at Odisha FC before his departure to the Spanish side Cultural Leonesa. Santana scored 9 goals, made 2 assists in his tenure at Odisha FC. Santana's physique and quick movement on and off the ball will brew trouble for other defenders. He is expected to play as the single striker as the star-studded midfield of Hyderabad FCfinds a way to pick out the Spaniard.Published 19 Nov 2020, 00:06 IST