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Bengaluru FC vs Odisha FC: Three key battles to decide Hero Super Cup 2023 champions

Published at :April 24, 2023 at 2:17 AM
Modified at :April 24, 2023 at 2:45 AM
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Uttiyo Sarkar

These individual duels will be delicacies to the viewers' eyes.

Bengaluru FC are all set to face Odisha FC in the Hero Super Cup 2023 final at the EMS Corporation Stadium, Kozhikode on Tuesday, 25 April. The Blues are aiming to win their second Hero Super Cup title, after having won the first-ever edition of the tournament in 2018.

For Odisha FC, however, this is their first shot at a competitive trophy. The Juggernauts have not won a single trophy and are in hope to create some personal history this time around by lifting the title – as well as taking a step closer to the AFC Cup. Both Bengaluru FC and Odisha FC have been in fine form in the Hero Super Cup and dominated their way to the final. Both teams are blessed with some in-form players who are more than capable of turning things in their favour.

This game should be a thrilling, end-to-end battle as both the Indian Super League (ISL) sides aim to end their season on a high note. There will be a number of key duels between the prominent players on the pitch, with some potentially deciding where the trophy will head to. Here are the three key battles to watch in the game.

3. Roy Krishna vs Carlos Delgado

Roy Krishna Hero Super Cup 2023 Bengaluru FC vs Odisha FC
Roy Krishna. (Courtesy: ISL Media)

The Hero Super Cup final should be filled with a lot of counter-attacks because both sides love scoring from transitions. It’s in counter-attacks that Roy Krishna excels as well. The Fijian forward loves troubling defenders with his clever off-the-ball movement, running into spaces that drag centre-backs out of their position. He is a thorn in the final third and impressive with his link-up play as well as his sheer desire for goals.

Carlos Delgado has a tough challenge up ahead in the final. The Spaniard has been rock-solid so far in this competition, commanding a tight defensive line and often coming up with vital challenges. The duel between the buzzing Krishna and assertive Delgado should be an exciting chase of cat and mouse. While Krishna looks to expose the Odisha FC backline with his clever runs and finishing, Delgado will hope to bully the Fijian into losing his rhythm and neutralizing a major source for Bengaluru FC’s goals.

2. Nandhakumar Sekar vs Namgyal Bhutia

Nandhakumar Sekar Hero Super Cup 2023 final Bengaluru FC vs Odisha FC
Nandhakumar Sekar. (Courtesy: ISL Media)

Nandhakumar Sekar has been among the standout players in the Hero Super Cup so far. He has scored four goals already, including a brilliant brace in the semi-final against NorthEast United. Even though the clash against Bengaluru FC might be his final game for Odisha FC before he leaves (as per reports), at least he’ll aim to bow out in style. Nandha’s impressive movement and dribbling ability are renowned for a few seasons, but he has added ruthlessness to his style this time around.

He’s now finishing chances clinically and taking his opportunities, making him a major threat. However, Bengaluru FC have their reliable, diligent right-back Namgyal Bhutia to mark him. Bhutia has been defensively solid in this competition, knowing how to stick onto wingers and neutralize their threats. The Bengaluru FC man will have to mark his rival extremely tightly and be decisive with his tackles to ensure Nandha doesn't get the freedom to cause chaos. Nandha might have to modify his game and be a bit more unpredictable to unlock the Bengaluru FC defence, but knowing his current form, he can definitely make a difference in the final.

1. Diego Mauricio vs Sandesh Jhingan

Diego Mauricio Sandesh Jhingan Hero Super Cup 2023 final Bengaluru FC vs Odisha FC
Sandesh Jhingan vs Diego Mauricio. (Courtesy: ISL Media)

The Hero Super Cup final will also be the platform for the most prolific striker of the ISL to face one who is arguably the best Indian centre-back. Diego Mauricio will test his strengths against the sturdy Sandesh Jhingan, who aims to win his first trophy with Bengaluru FC. Mauricio has been very good in the Hero Super Cup, scoring four goals and setting up a few too. He’s full of confidence, coming in deep to help progress the ball into the final third and finishing off chances with ease. Jhingan has a tough task ahead, but as we all know, he loves a big challenge on these occasions.

The Bengaluru FC star will probably try to rattle Mauricio with his aggressive tackles and prevent him from getting the ball near his box. Jhingan can be a pest for strikers if he wants and will aim to neutralize Mauricio too!

The Odisha FC star will have to think out of the box to dominate Bengaluru FC. He’ll probably have to run into areas he normally does, make better movement and most importantly – take his chances clinically. This battle between two of Indian football’s best in attack and defence should be a fascinating watch – as it’s safe to assume that whoever comes out on top in this battle will give their side a huge advantage in the final.