Chennaiyin FC head coach Thomas Brdaric said his team will look to take advantage of Hyderabad FC’s recent struggle in the Indian Super League 2022-23 when they play host to them to the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Saturday.
Although Hyderabad are currently placed second on the points table with 16 points from eight matches, they will be under pressure to get back to winning ways, after having faced two successive defeats.
Speaking about their opponents Hyderabad, head coach Brdaric said: “Hyderabad are an experienced team. Yes, they are struggling and we have recognised it but we never underestimate our opponents. It’s very important how we exploit the situation. We know how to play against them, we know everything about Hyderabad. We have a plan for tomorrow and we want to execute it in the best possible way.”
Even though Hyderabad have secured five wins from eight games, they could manage to score more than one goal in only two matches.
When asked about it, Chennaiyin forward Prasanth Karuthadathkuni said: “It means they’re defending well. We, attackers, have our plan and we’ll try to score more goals.”
The 25-year-old Kerala-born player, who has a goal to his name this season from seven appearances, further said the Chennaiyin players have put behind their close defeat to Odisha in the last match and are ready to face Hyderabad.
“We all were upset [after the game against Odisha]. We analysed our mistakes. It happens. We have worked really hard for tomorrow’s match. We have encouraged each other.”
Abdenasser El Khayati was the bright spot for the two-time champions in their loss to Odisha. The Dutchman scored a brace in the match, taking his overall tally to four in his debut ISL campaign and is currently the third-highest goal-scorer in the ongoing season, only behind Mumbai City’s Jorge Diaz (6) and East Bengal’s Cleiton Silva (5).
In their last match at the Marina Arena, Chennaiyin put up an impressive performance to secure a 3-1 win against Jamshedpur and they will look to replicate the same performance against Hyderabad.
With regard to team news, Chennaiyin will continue to miss the services of its skipper Anirudh Thapa and a few other key players, who are out of action due to an injury.
Brdaric said the team has been focussing on getting those players recovered from the injuries but also explained the opportunities other players are getting in their absence and asked them to use these chances to deliver and prove themselves.
In terms of head-to-head, Chennaiyin have won three against Hyderabad’s two, with one game ending in a draw.
When the two sides locked horns at the Marina Area last time in 2019, Chennaiyin FC had pocketed full points. (ANI)