Hyderabad FC are back for revenge! It’s just their second season in the ISL after they replaced FC Pune City last season. Let’s have a look on what The Nizams have to offer.
Last Season’s Performance:
It was a very disappointing 1st season for The Nizams as they finished last in the table with only 2 wins. With the appointment of new coach Manuel Roca The Nizams look ready for a fresh start as they play Odisha in their opener.
The Nizams have captured a dangerous quadruple of Spanish players- Odei Onaindia , Lluis Sastre, Aridan Santana and Fran Sandaza. Along with Spanish manager Roca the players will look to link up to create venomous attacks.
The greatest loss for Hyderabad was Marcelinho. The Brazilian was there standout performer last year involved in all of the team’s 21 goals. Bobo and Giles Brown followed Marcelinho out of the exit door with Giles returning to Brazil.
Hyderabad’s main strength lies in their Spanish Core. Along with a Spanish manager The Nizams will look to play expansive football as expected from them.
Of course the loss of Marcelinho is the biggest blow for Hyderabad but their defence is a major concern as well. They had the poorest defensive record in the league conceding 39 goals in 18 games. Although they have recieved a buff in defence at the signing of Onaindia but Roca’s main job is to bring defensive stability.
TACTICS AND FORMATION:
It maybe best for Hyderabad to go with a conservative 4-2-3-1. This will give more stability to their defensive shape with a layer of holding midfielders covering the defensive line. They may well play with long balls as Lluis Sastre is a master passer. They also have pacy players like Holicharan Narzary and Joel Chianese who can accomodate themselves in the wings.
They also have Aridane Santana who can easily play as a target man due to his physicality. So the biggest possibility is that Hyderabad play a counter attacking setup. But they can also start with a 3 man defence and a formation of 3-4-1-2 but that is less probable as their defensive depth is not good. It will be really interesting to see what Manuel Roca conjures up.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
1. ARIDANE SANTANA : The big Spanish striker had a great goalscoring record last season as he scored 9 goals in just 14 matches. He will be instrumental in Roca’s plans due to versatility. If needed he can play as a poacher and also as a target man. So it will be interesting to see his role.
2. Lluis Sastre : A graduate of the La Masia academy Sastre is a fine passer of the ball. The 34 year old Spaniard was a part of the Huesca squad who secured promotion to the La Liga in the 2017/18 season. He is a player who can fit in any system due to his technical abilities and it will be interesting to see his position. Whether he will play as an advanced playmaker or a deep-lying playmaker.
Goalkeepers: Lalbhiakhlua Jongte, Laxmikant Kattimani, Manas Dubey, Subrata Paul
Defenders: Akash Mishra, Asish Rai, Chinglensana Singh, Dimple Bhagat, Nikhil Prabhu, Odej Onaindia, Kynsailang Khongsit, Sahil Panwar
Midfielders: Abhishek Halder, Adil Khan, Sahil Tavora, Halicharan Narzary, Hitesh Sharma, Joao Victor, Laldanmawia Ralte, Lluis Sastre, Mark Zothanpuia, Mohammed Yasir, Nikhil Poojary, Souvik Chakrabarti, Sweden Fernandes
Forwards: Aridane Santana, Fran Sandaza, Ishan Dey, Joel Chianese, Lalawmpuia, Liston Colaco, Rohit Danu