Bengaluru FC take on Hyderabad FC in an Indian Super League game that Carles Cuadrat predicts will be both tough and interesting, at the Fatorda Stadium, on Saturday. Manuel Marquez’s team come into this game on the back of a 1-0 win over Odisha FC and Bengaluru’s Spanish boss is certain his side is up against a much-improved team than the one they played last season.
“Hyderabad FC have improved since our first meeting, for sure. It takes time for a new club to settle. I think they have made really good signings this season, including a great coach who I have known since my Barcelona days. As a club, they have been improving and their first game is a clear example. They got their first clean sheet and took all three points in a very deserving way. They are a better club since we first played them,” said Cuadrat on the eve of the fixture.
Bengaluru went two goals up against FC Goa in their season-opener, only to concede twice in the second half and share the points. However, Cuadrat said he wasn’t making too much of the result, instead choosing to focus on the things that went right. “Against FC Goa, we were very close to getting the three points. At 2-0, we had chances to make the scoreline even bigger. Unfortunately, it did not happen. We also have to concede that the opponents also had good players and a good plan. And that’s it, it was one point for each team.”
“But we are focused for Hyderabad on Saturday. We have good options in the squad this season. Some players have an eye for the goal and that is something I want to take advantage of,” he added.
Bengaluru started with Norwegian striker Kristian Opseth before bringing on Deshorn Brown in the second. Defender Fran Gonzalez and goalscorer Cleiton Silva meanwhile got 70 minutes of game time. “We are doing our work by training hard. We had a week of preparation now. Some of the players who were training for two weeks, now have three weeks under their belt. We are more fit now,” said Cuadrat.
Hyderabad’s win over Odisha came after their target man Aridane Santana converted from the spot, but it was the discipline in all departments that was the talking point. And Cuadrat said his boys would have to be wary of the solidity Hyderabad possess on both ends of the pitch. “It is clear that they have a very good target man in Aridane Santana. And if Francisco Sandaza is fit, they can play the 4-4-2 system with two big, dangerous strikers. They also have Lluis Sastre, a player from La Masia who is very good. With him and the two foreign centre-backs, they can really cause problems for us.”
Bengaluru’s coach confirmed that he had a completely fit squad at his disposal for Saturday. The game kicks off at the Fatorda Stadium at 7.30 pm and will be telecast live on the Star Sports Network, Disney+Hotstar and JioTV.