Preview: Three points will be the top priority for a struggling Hyderabad FC when they host FC Goa at the GMC Balayogi Athletic Stadium on Sunday.
Hyderabad FC, with just four points from six games, can leapfrog a couple of teams if they manage to upset the Gaurs.
On the other hand, after picking up only one point in their previous two matches, Sergio Lobera's side have a chance to climb to the top four if they manage a victory against the bottom-placed hosts.
The home side come into this fixture on the back of a 1-1 draw against defending champions Bengaluru FC as Robin Singh's late equaliser had helped them pick a point.
However, their midfield has looked disjointed at times, both in terms of stopping the opposition's attacks or being creative themselves. The hosts have conceded 13 goals and that would surely concern coach Phil Brown.
The good news for Brown is that he has had nine days to prepare his team for the upcoming tie where he would have addressed these impending issues.
Striker Giles Barnes has improved his fitness and could possibly be handed a start alongside Marcelinho. Adil Khan has also joined training after recovering from the knock he suffered while on international duty. Defenders Sahil Panwar and Gurtej Singh, however, will miss the tie owing to suspensions.
"Every coach in the world will have injuries and suspension issues. The most important thing for us is that the treatment room is empty now. But we have two suspended from the same position. I think that we have a good mindset at the moment regardless of who is playing in that position," said Brown.
FC Goa, on the other hand, have been boosted by the return of some key players. They now have the option to select Hugo Boumous and Seiminlen Doungel who return from their suspensions.
Star striker Ferran Corominas hasn't started their last two outings and it remains to be seen if the Spaniard will recover to be fit for the game on Sunday. In his absence, Goa have only picked a point from a possible six.
Lobera hasn't had his full quota of foreign players for a single game this season and he will be hampered by the absence of the suspended centre-back Mourtada Fall against Hyderabad. Midfielder Ahmed Jahouh is also back after his one-match ban which will ease some pressure off Lobera.
"This is the most difficult season in the last three years. The other teams have signed big players. All the teams are very competitive. We are better but the situation now is very competitive," said Lobera.
With inputs from PTI.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
Updated Date: Dec 08, 2019 21:43:18 IST