The seventh season of the Indian Super League (ISL) continues in Goa as the fourth match will witness Hyderabad FC taking on Odisha FC. The match will be held at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim as this season of the ISL is set to be held completely in Goa.
The matches will be held behind closed doors and the players will be part of the bio-bubble ecosystem in the coastal state due to the prevalent COVID-19 situation in India.
Hyderabad FC Preview
Hyderabad FC are coming into the ISL 2020-21 season on the back of a disappointing debut campaign that saw them finish at the bottom of the standings. They won just two out of their 18 matches and garnered a paltry total of 10 points through the season.
The Nizams decided to go for a complete overhaul of their squad and brought on Spanish manager Manuel Marquez Roca as their head coach. With as many as 15 players moving away, Hyderabad FC will be a new-look side for the ISL season. One of their key performers, Marcelinho moved shores to sign for Odisha FC but Hyderabad FC will feel they have enough talent to make up for the Brazilian attacker.
They have added three quality overseas attackers in their ranks for the season - Joel Chianese, Fran Santana and former Odisha FC striker Aridane Santana. The latter will be a key player for them and his prolific scoring rate will help them bolster their attacking prospects.
Hyderabad have a good core of Indian players in their ranks with Subrata Paul, Adil Khan, Nikhil Poojary, Hitesh Sharma, Liston Colaco among others. Their form will be crucial if the team are to consistently deliver results.
Odisha FC Preview
Odisha FC played their first season of the ISL last year after shifting base from Delhi to Odisha and rebranding themselves.
The team had a sub-par outing last year as it finished on the sixth spot in the overall ISL 2019-20 standings with seven wins from 18 matches and managed to accumulate a total of 25 points.
Odisha FC have also undergone a managerial change with Englishman Stuart Baxter taking over the reins from Josep Gombau. Baxter has made a host of signings to bolster his squad with the most prominent one being the acquisition of Brazilian attacker Marcelo Leite Pereira, also popularly known as Marcelinho. He is one of the most successful strikers in the ISL with 31 goals and 18 assists over four seasons.
Steven Taylor, the former Newcastle United defender, is another high-profile signing made by Odisha FC. They also managed to retain their prolific striker Manuel Onwu, who would relish the opportunity to play alongside Marcelinho in the attack.
Odisha FC have a solid bunch of Indian youngsters like Vinit Rai, Nandha Kumar Sekar, Jerry Mawihmingthana, Shubham Sarangi among others in their ranks who will be key for them to push for a playoffs position in this ISL season.
ISL 2020-21: HFC vs OFC Match Prediction
Odisha FC currently enjoy a 2-0 head-to-head record against Hyderabad FC, winning both their matches in the ISL 2019-20 season.
Hyderabad FC have just six overseas players in their lineup and will count on their Indian squad members to be at their best. They have some firepower in their attack with Aridane Santana leading the way and will be backed to deliver in front of the goal.
Odisha FC have a solid defense led by the experienced Steven Taylor with youngsters Mohammad Dhot and Shubham Sarangi on the flanks. They have a stellar attacking unit led by Marcelinho, who will have Manuel Onwu alongside him.
Prediction: Hyderabad FC 1 - 2 Odisha FCPublished 23 Nov 2020, 05:00 IST