Highlanders, Hyderabad aim to reach top-4 (preview)

Vasco (Goa), 7 January (IANS). Northeast United FC would like to return to the winning streak of the seventh season of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) by winning the match against Hyderabad FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco here on Friday. Whichever team wins this match will reach the top-4 in the table.

Northeast United FC, known as the Highlanders, had a great start to the seventh season and were unbeaten in the first six matches. But coach Gerrard Nuss has now lost his rhythm for the last few matches and has not won a single in the last five games and lost two.

Northeastern United FC and Hyderabad FC were at the bottom of the table last season, but both teams are in contention to make it to the playoffs this season. The seventh-placed Northeast is just one place and one point behind their rival Hyderabad.

On the other hand, after suffering three consecutive defeats, Hyderabad have returned to the winning streak in their previous match by beating the two-time champions Chennai FC 4–1. Ariadne Santana has scored five goals so far for Hyderabad.

“We know they are better with the ball and they score in many ways,” said Nuss. He has scored several goals from the set piece and Ariadne is always a threat. He had an excellent record for scoring goals last season and has scored five goals so far this season. He is a big player, but he has more players in the attack. We have to give our best to stop them.

A weak defense will be their concern for Hyderabad coach Manuel Marquez. His team has scored 11 goals so far and they have not achieved a single clean sheet for the last six matches.

Marquez said, they are a good team. In terms of results, they are not right now, but they have scored against big teams. He has good players and good coaches. I like his style of play. They are a dangerous team.

–IANS

EZA / SGK



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