Mumbai City FC will welcome Hyderabad FC for a top of the table clash in the 2022/23 Indian Super League. The Nizams, currently sitting 7 points behind Mumbai City FC in the table and having played a game less, will visit the Mumbai Football Arena on the 4th of February 2023 in an early kick off at 5.30pm IST.
The Islanders currently sit at the summit of the league table with 42 points from the 16 games so far in the season. They have won thirteen games and drawn three this season, they are yet to lose a game so far this season. They also lead the league with the most goals (47) and they have third best defensive record in the league having conceded only 14 goals. They triumphed over the Highlanders at home in a match that ended 4-0 before traveling to tricky Jamshedpur. The Islanders showed amazing fighting spirit, as they defeated Jamshedpur FC 2-1 after going a goal behind early in the game and scoring twice in the final 10 minutes.
Hyderabad FC have secured 35 points in 15 games. They currently have the best defensive record in the league, conceding only 9 goals all season. Manolo Marquez's side come into tomorrow's game off the back of a break not having featured in the previous round of fixtures. The Nizams took on East Bengal FC on the road in their last fixture and came out 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Javier Siverio and Aaren D'Silva.
Addressing the media in the pre-match press conference, Des Buckingham spoke about how pivotal their performance in the previous game will prove to be as he said, “I thought the last result was arguably the most important result of our season so far, and I say that because we went in there and said to make a change very late with Rahul going out and Sanjeev coming in. We had three midfield players on yellow cards that could have locked them out for the Hyderabad game. It is a very tough place to go and when we look back at the game against Jamshedpur, prior to playing them, I said it before and I said it afterward that they're a very good team. They created lots of chances, and we were wary of that. To go there and firstly, you know, come away with the result was pleasing, but it was more the manner in which we were able to do it. It was very important that we showed another side to us and something that's gonna be very important for the final four games.”
He went on to add about how the team is preparing for the game against Hyderabad FC. "It's no more important than the 16 that have gone before it, and no less important than the 3 that will come after. We've said every week, game to game and we want to get better every game. We've shown different ways that we can play. We've shown different ways that we can get results, and we have to find ways at different times to do both, or either. So, for this game we've prepared exactly the same way we have for the previous 16. But again, the focus is always on us.”
The charismatic Rostyn Griffiths accompanied Buckingham for the conference, and he spoke about his new role on the pitch in central midfield. “I've done it in bits and parts mostly later on in the games when we've been trying to hold a lead or something like that. I don't mind it, you know. I played pretty much 90% of my career at defensive midfield, so it's not a huge shock to me when I go back there, but playing in a Mumbai City or a City Football Group style is different from a lot of other clubs. And at a lot of other clubs, it is a bit freer perhaps, and can sort of drop around the pitch but our style, it's a bit more structured and organized. It's not an issue, it's not a shock or a huge transition. It probably allows me to get forward a little bit more as well which can be exciting.”
Coach Buckingham concluded the press conference by talking about what kind of game the fans can expect against Hyderabad FC. “I think the way that we try to play has got us the results in terms of points, but also gives us the results in terms of goals. I'm very happy with the progress we as a club have made in the last 6 to 8 months. The players understand better what we have to do. I'm not sure what Hyderabad FC will do or how they will play but I'm looking forward to trying to continue what we've been doing. If we can do that in front of our home crowd, I'm expecting a very exciting game.”
Where To Watch
The game will kick off at 5:30 pm IST and will be broadcast live on the Star Sports Network, Hotstar, and Jio TV for all viewers in India. For our global fans, you can download the OneFootball app, find your broadcaster at indiansuperleague.com/