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Bengaluru FC brace for Hyderabad challenge at the Fortress

Bengaluru FC captain Sunil Chhetri and teammates during a training session. (Photo courtesy: Bengaluru FC)
Bengaluru FC captain Sunil Chhetri and teammates during a training session. Photo courtesy: Bengaluru FC

Bengaluru FC boss Carles Cuadrat said that League positions will count for little as his side go to battle against Hyderabad FC at the Kanteerava Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Thursday. New signing Nili Perdomo, who landed in the city on Tuesday, is available for selection ahead of the clash, a win in which would take the Blues to 28 points, one ahead of FC Goa, who play later on Wednesday evening.

“When we faced Hyderabad FC earlier in the season, we saw what they are capable of. They were placed bottom then, but fought till the very end and made it difficult for us. It’s true that they have made some changes to the way they play and as we saw last week against Mumbai, they are still fighting. I believe tomorrow’s game will be a tough one,” Cuadrat said.

The Blues shrugged off defeat in Mumbai with a convincing 3-0 win against Odisha, where Cuadrat handed new signing Deshorn Brown his first start, and the striker responded with a goal and plenty of promise. The Blues have now welcomed another addition in young winger Perdomo who replaces Manu Onwu after the No.9 secured a loan deal to Odisha.

“Nili has played with FC Barcelona and is the type of footballer who is versatile and can play in several positions. This is key to the way we play and I am sure that he will contribute to the rest of our season. As I said before, our team’s versatility played a huge part in us winning the title last year and it continues to be an important asset for us,” Cuadrat added.

The Blues’ opposition on the night, Hyderabad have endured a nightmare of a campaign, winning just once in 14 games. They will come to the Fortress without fear and the Blues will have to be wary of their approach. After four losses on the trot, Hyderabad scored an injury-time equalizer to snatch a point from Mumbai in their previous clash.

On the team news front, the Blues will miss the services of Raphael Augusto, Rino Anto, Eugeneson Lyngdoh and Rahul Bheke, as they continue to recover from injuries.

The game kicks off at 7.30 pm and will be telecast live on the STAR Sports Network, and Hotstar.

(Bengaluru FC)