ISL 2022-23: Hyderabad FC vs Mumbai City FC - 3 player battles

Bartholomew Ogbeche is going to be major threat for Mumbai City FC
Bartholomew Ogbeche is going to be major threat for Mumbai City FC's defense. (Image Courtesy: Twitter/HyderabadFC)

Hyderabad FC will start the defense of their Indian Super League (ISL) title against Mumbai City FC at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune on Sunday, October 09. After a Hollywood-esque championship run last season, the Nizams will be hoping to replicate the same in the 2022-23 season.

Meanwhile, the Islanders too will be eager to register a win in their season-opener in the hopes of regaining their status as one of the top sides in the competition. Both teams have slightly revamped and strengthened their squad going into the season.

𝐌𝐀𝐓𝐂𝐇𝐃𝐀𝐘!It's finally here! The Champions go again! 🟡🌑🆚 Mumbai City FC🏟 Shree Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex, Pune🕢 7:30 PM IST📺 Live on the Star Sports Network, Hotstar, Jio TV#HyderabadFC #DeccanLegion #మనహైదరాబాద్ #ہماراحیدرآباد 💛🖤

Mumbai have added the likes of Greg Stewart, Alberto Noguera, and Jorge Pereyra Diaz to their squad and have done well to retain the services of Ahmed Jahouh and Mourtada Fall. The Nizams too have retained most of their core team and added the quality of Borja Herrera and Odei Onaindia.

On that note, let's take a look at three important battles that could determine the outcome of the game.

#3 Bartholomew Ogbeche vs Mourtada Fall

The Nigerian talisman is arguably the most feared forward in the ISL owing to his lethal finishing abilities. Bart Ogbeche ended the 2021-22 season as the top scorer in the league. Despite being 38, he has shown no signs of stopping. The Hyderabad FC striker scored five goals in six appearances in the Durand Cup.

His off-the-ball movement could prove to be a real test for the Islanders' backline. However, Mourtada Fall could be the man to negate the attacking threats of Ogbeche. The Senegalese defender has been one of the main men in the Mumbai City FC defense.

#2 Joao Victor vs Ahmed Jahouh

This midfield battle could be pivotal in deciding the fate of the match between the two heavyweights. Both Joao Victor and Ahmed Jahouh are absolute midfield metronomes for their respective sides.

The Brazilian general played 832 passes at a completion rate of 81.73% last season. Further, he contributed five goals from deep and showed his ability to test the keeper from long distance.

Meanwhile, Jahouh has been one of the most consistent performers in the league. Not only is he an astute destroyer in midfield, the Moroccan's creativity from deep makes him invaluable to MCFC.

#1 Reagan Singh vs Lallianzuala Chhangte

One final push in Pune before tonight’s showdown 🏃‍♂️💨

Mumbai City FC's 25-year-old winger has been one of the most in-form players in the country. Chhangte scored seven goals from seven matches in the Durand Cup earlier in the year.

The former Chennaiyin FC man has always possessed trickery on the wings, but he has also added clinical finishing to his gaming. Containing him will be a massive task for Hyderabad FC.

Veteran Reagan Singh is expected to tackle Chhangte on the wings and that could evolve into a tasty encounter.

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Edited by S Chowdhury
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