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FCG vs HFC, Indian Super League 2022/23: MPL Preview, Predictions & Fantasy Team

Momentarily struggling FC Goa will welcome a high-flying Hyderabad FC to their fortress at the Fatorda Stadium in Margao for the Indian Super League 2022/23 encounter between the two sides. Goa are fifth in the table with six wins and five losses from their 12 matches and have 19 points to their name. Meanwhile, only two points separate Hyderabad from table-toppers Mumbai City and the Nizams have won on nine occasions in their 12 games so far.

This will be the opening encounter of Matchweek 14 in the ISL and the match is expected to be a cracker of a contest as both sides led by Carlos Pena and Manolo Marquez believe in their free-flowing attacking style of football. Led by the two Spaniards, both the Gaurs and Nizams draw inspiration from the European country and try to implement the philosophy of building out from the back and keeping hold of the ball and possession for as long as possible in order to create the bulk of the chances.

When the two sides came face to face with each other earlier this season in Hyderabad, it ended up becoming a clash between two equals. However, FC Goa were made to regret their momentary loss of focus that allowed Javier Siverio to find the back of the net for the hosts in the first half of the contest.

While Pena’s side did manage to create several chances of their own at the other end of the pitch, none of them managed to find their way home into the net. They will have an extra fire under their belly and will be looking to make amends on home soil on Thursday.

FC Goa arrive into this fixture on the back of inconsistent and erratic form. They have dropped points in their last two games and need to find a way to be more clinical going forward. They needed a late goal to rescue a point in their 2-2 draw with Jamshedpur FC but failed to pick themselves back up and suffered a 2-1 defeat to ATK Mohun Bagan in Kolkata. Although Anwar Ali cancelled out Dimitri Petratos’ opener for the Mariners, Hugo Boumous scored the game-winning goal in the second half.

Wins in either of those games would have seen them pull away from Odisha FC in sixth place, who have one point from their last four games, but FC Goa currently find themselves level in fifth place.  Both Iker Guarrotxena and Noah Sadaoui have been crucial for the side so far this season and have five goals each. However, they’ve been tasked with too many responsibilities in attack and need their supporting cast to step up as well.

Despite enjoying a high volume of possession in almost every match, the Gaurs haven’t been able to convert them into meaningful chances on enough occasions. They need more ruthlessness in the final third. Head coach Carlos Pena, however, is not too worried about his side’s inconsistencies.

“We need to think of where we came from. You know, in the last season, this team finished in the 9th position. It’s difficult to build a winning mentality. We have improved a lot of things from the start of the season. The competitiveness is recognizable everywhere in the team,” said Pena.

“Tomorrow’s game is important, as we’re facing another team that is looking to stay in the top-six. I have huge respect for (Hyderabad FC head coach) Manolo Marquez, he’s done a terrific job with the team over the past two to three years,” he further added.

Indeed, Manolo Marquez has done a terrific job with Hyderabad FC and have transformed them into a powerhouse in India. Hyderabad FC enjoyed the best attacking record in the Indian Super League last season where they found the back of the net on 43 occasions! Goals have been a little harder to come by this season but even then, the Nizams have the second-best scoring record in the league and have scored 24 goals already.

However, what has been turly impressive about their performances so far is the water-tight discipline at the back. Marquez’s side have only let in seven goals in 12 matches, conceding five goals less than the next best team on the list. It really bodes well for this game given Goa’s lack of attacking fervour and the rest of their season.

Bartholomew Ogbeche, the top goalscorer in Hero ISL history, hasn’t been the force of previous seasons, with just three goals so far. Javier Siverio has chipped in with four goals, while the duo of Halicharan Narzary and Mohammad Yasir have seven assists between them.

The Nizams have enjoyed a stellar run of form lately and are currently on a four-match winning streak that shows no signs of stopping any time soon. Since the 1-0 loss to ATK Mohun Bagan away from home towards the end of November, Hyderabad haven’t dropped a single point in the league.

They secured a 3-1 triumph over Chennaiyin FC, beat East Bengal 2-0, thumped Bengaluru FC 3-0 and then ran riot against NorthEast United with a jaw-dropping 6-1 scoreline. Siverio netted a brace, while Borja Herrera, Odei Onaindia, Joel Chianese also got in on the act.

Hyderabad FC head coach Manolo Marquez acknowledged that his side weren’t at their best in the last meeting between the two sides in his pre-match press conference. “We know perfectly that we have to play a very good game. Win or lose or draw – sometimes it’s about details – but we at least have to have a good performance,” he said.

In the same home fixture at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa last season, the Gaurs managed to steal point off Hyderabad FC in a 1-1 draw between the two sides.

FCG vs HFC, Indian Super League 2022/23

Date: 5th January, 2023

Time: 7:30 PM IST

Venue: Fatorda Stadium, Goa


FC Goa Indian Super League form:

  • L-D-W-W-L

Hyderabad FC Indian Super League form:

  • W-W-W-W-L


FC Goa wins: 3

Draws: 2

Hyderabad FC wins: 2


FC Goa Team News: 

Noah Sadaoui is expected to return to the starting XI after missing out playing from the first minute onwards. Besides this, the Gaurs have a fully fit squad of players at their disposal and Carlos Pena will be able to count on everyone.

Hyderabad FC Team News:

Hyderabad FC do not have any worries relating to injuries or suspensions at the moment. They also have a fully fit squad. Given the kind of form that they have been in, it is unlikely that head coach Manolo Marquez will be willing to tamper with the starting XI too much. As a result, it won’t be surprising to see the same XI that absolutely hammered NorthEast United FC take to the pitch against FC Goa here in order to complete the double over them in ISL 2022/23.

FC Goa possible starting lineup:

Dheeraj Moirangthem (GK), Anwar Ali, Mohamed Fares Arnaout, Seriton Fernandes, Aibanbha Dohling, Noah Wail Sadaoui, Brandon Fernandes (C), Ayush Dev Chhetri, Redeem Tlang, Edu Bedia, Iker Guarrotxena.

Hyderabad FC possible starting lineup:

Gurmeet Singh; Nikhil Poojary, Nim Dorjee, Odei Onaindia, Akash Mishra; Hitesh Sharma, Borja Herrera; Rohit Danu, Bartholomew Ogbeche, Halicharan Narzary, Javier Siverio.


Given the kind of form that Hyderabad FC have been in and the style of football that they have deployed this season, one will find it extremely difficult to bet against Hyderabad FC. Manolo Marquez’s side have not only been dominant in games and in controlling possession, they have also been ruthless in attack with various scorers stepping up to the task. More importantly though, they have the best defensive unit in the league this season and have hardly let in goals.

FC Goa will be expected to struggle here especially in light of their inconsistency and struggles upfront. Only frantic support from home the home crowd at the Fatorda could usher on Goa to deny Hyderabad here but even the chances of that happening look slim due to the Nizams’ razor-sharp form.

FCG vs HFC Fantasy XI No. 1

FCG vs HFC Fantasy XI No. 2


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