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Hero ISL: NorthEast United seek first win over Hyderabad FC since 2019.

The last time the two teams met, the Nizams handed the Highlanders a 5-0 defeat.

The ninth edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) is back and running, this time with the fans in ten cities. After almost a week full of action and drama throughout six cities, the action now shifts to the North-East of India in Guwahati. Home side NorthEast United will host the defending champions Hyderabad FC in their second game of the season. Expectations and emotions are running high as top flight football returns to Guwahati for the first time since February 2020.

Let us take a look at the preview of this highly anticipated clash.

The Stakes 

NorthEast United

Luck was not on NorthEast United’s side in their opening game of the 2022-23 season. The Highlanders were denied an equalizer in the dying minutes of the second half following an error from the linesman. 

They looked in good shape and asked a lot of questions to the defending Durand Cup Champions, Bengaluru FC. Marco Balbul’s side will come into their second game as underdogs. But if they maintain the same tempo as they did against BFC, you never know how things would unfold.

Hyderabad FC

The defending champions gave away two points, courtesy a late second half equalizer from Mumbai City in their opening game of the season. Manolo Marquez’s side has been shuffled but still retains their ruthless approach on the pitch against other teams.

The Nizams began their title defense with an ordinary result. They will be raring to go and can take a toll on NorthEast given their strong head-to-head record against the Highlanders.

Head-to-Head

Hyderabad FC have the upper hand in the head-to-head record against NorthEast United. The clubs have met six times. The Nizams have won four, and lost and drawn one each against the Highlanders. 

Team News

Emil Benny is doubtful for NorthEast United as he was taken off early in the first half against Bengaluru FC. NEUFC head coach Marco Balbul will also not be present on the side-lines as he was shown a red card in the first game. Hyderabad FC are expected to have fully fit squad going into the game.

Probable Line-ups

NorthEast United: Arindam Bhattacharya (GK); Mohamed Irshad, Gaurav Bora, Michael Jakobsen (C), Gurjinder Kumar; Jon Gaztanaga, Emanuel, Gani Nigam; Romain Philippoteax, Matt Derbyshire.

Hyderabad FC: Laxmikant Kattimani (GK); Nikhil Poojary, Odei Onaindia, Chinglensana Singh, Manoj Mohammed; Joao Victor (C), Hitesh Sharma; Mohammad Yasir, Joel Chianese, Halicharan Narzary; Bartholomew Ogbeche.

Man to watch

Romain Philippoteaux (NorthEast United FC)

Suresh Singh having a tough time against Romain Philippoteaux. (Courtesy: ISL Media)

The Frenchman announced his arrival in style and gave Indian Football a glimpse of what he brings to the table. He is the latest successor of the iconic number 10 jersey at NorthEast United which has been donned by the record goal-scorer Bartholomew Ogbeche and club legend Federico Gallego.

Romain was undoubtedly the best NEUFC player on the pitch in their opening game. The 34-year-old gave BFC a really tough time with his swift skills and movements with the ball. If NorthEast want to bounce back, Philippoteaux will need to deliver.

Joao Victor (Hyderabad FC)

Joao Victor during the HFC vs MCFC game. (Courtesy: ISL Media)

The skipper led by example in his side’s opening game against Mumbai City. He stood up to the occasion and helped his side get back in the game with two goals in either halves when the team was trailing.

The Brazilian portrayed a bossing performance and was involved in the thick of things for Hyderabad in the middle of the park. Manolo Marquez will hope that his captain can put up a similar performance against the Highlanders.

Did You Know?

  • Hyderabad FC have scored 19 goals against NorthEast United in six games, including 10 last season.
  • NorthEast United have not beaten Hyderabad FC since 2019.
  • Manolo Marquez has an unbeaten record against NEUFC.

Telecast

The match between NorthEast United FC and Hyderabad FC will take place at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, also known as the Sarusajai Stadium in Guwahati on October 13 (Thursday). The kick-off time is 7:30 PM IST. It will be live telecasted on the Star Sports network and will be live streamed on Disney+Hotstar and JioTV.