Hyderabad FC – 2022/2023 Season Preview

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Hyderabad FC‘s story is like any good underdog story. After finishing last in their first season in the ISL they showed a meteoric rise. They faced Kerala Blasters in the finals and after a grueling penalty shootout emerged as the Champions of the 2021/22 ISL season. Their success is owed to Manolo Marquez, who joined them in 2020 and has since transformed them for the better. Their striker Bartholomew Ogbeche also had the most goals to his name in the previous installment of the ISL.

The senior squad arrived in Imphal to participate in the 131st Durand Cup, that served as a pre-season to the ISL. The Nizams competed under the leadership of Manolo Marquez and emerged at the top of their group stage and went on to the elimination rounds only to be bested by Bengaluru FC in the semi-finals.

Hyderabad FC
Hyderabad FC

Head Coach

At the helm of Hyderabad FC is Manuel “Manolo” Marquez Roca, the miracle man who transformed the prince into a Nizam that established its dominance in the 2021-2022 ISL season. The Spaniard’s contract extension allows him to remain with the team until 2023. He has transformed young talents such as Asish Rai, Mohammed Yasir and Sana Singh into powerhouses. His strategies and the results that it brought, cemented him as one of the best coaches in the ISL. His stellar performance is expected to continue this season.

Hyderabad FC
Hyderabad FC

Foreign Signings

Hyderabad FC’s defence has been bolstered by the addition of two foreign players – Odei Onaindia and Borja Herrera. It is also Onaindia’s return to Hyderabad after 2 years. Borja Herrera is a newcomer to the Indian football scene. Both players are proven additions to Hyderabad’s defence and can deliver if integrated properly into their playstyle.

Hyderabad FC
Hyderabad FC

Indian Signings

This season Hyderabad FC’s defence sees a few additions that are sure to strengthen them and provide options during the lengthy season. Reagan Singh joins the Nizams after transferring over from Chennaiyin FC while Manoj Mohammed is also welcomed into the team. Erstwhile Gokulam Kerala FC player, Alex Saji has also joined their ranks. The defending champions will also have rookie talent Lalchungnunga in their team.

Hyderabad FC
Hyderabad FC

Top 3 Signings

Odei Onaindia, Borja Herrera, Reagan Singh

Strengths

Hyderabad FC has succeeded in keeping the core of the team that led them to victory in the previous season. In Manolo Marquez they have arguably the best manager as well as Bartholomew Ogbeche who emerged as their lead goalscorer in the previous season. They also brought back Odei who showed his mettle during his previous stint with the team. Their team has undergone minimal changes and one might call them as the most settled team in the ISL this year.

Weaknesses

Hyderabad FC lacks experienced supporting goal-keepers which may lead to over-dependence on Laxmikant Kattimani. In addition, the loss of Asish Rai will affect the strength of their defence negatively.

Predicted Line Up for the 2022-2023 Season

Hyderabad FC
Hyderabad FC

Conclusion

Hyderabad FC has retained its core team that dominated the previous iteration of the ISL. There have been certain losses but new faces appear to fill them. Manolo Marquez will lead the Nizams for the entirety of this season and promises to deliver similar results. It will all boil down to how the new players adjust to the team and how they upgrade themselves to meet the requirements of an ever-growing competition.


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