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Odisha FC vs Kerala Blasters FC: Three key battles to determine ISL playoffs challenge

Published at :April 17, 2024 at 10:29 PM
Modified at :April 17, 2024 at 10:30 PM
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The winner between the two will face Mohun Bagan in the ISL semi-final.

The stage is all set for the 2023-24 Indian Super League (ISL) playoffs. Odisha FC and Kerala Blasters FC will start the proceedings by clashing in the knockout fixture on 19 April 2024 at the iconic Kalinga Stadium. A place in the semi-final is up for grabs for the winner and there is no margin for error left at this stage of the competition where only the top six sides remain. 

Both sides are quite formidable and it is hard to predict where the tie could swing. It will depend on the players in both camps and how motivated they are to grab the occasion and make the most of it. Tacticians at both ends would be trying their level best to make their troops ready for a mouth-watering clash.

Having said that, the following three key battles may play a major role in deciding the outcome. Let’s dive deep into the three key battles from the contest.

Ahmed Jahouh vs Jeakson Singh

Odisha FC vs Kerala Blasters FC: Three key battles to determine ISL playoffs challenge.
Jeakson Singh in action. (Image Source: ISL)

Ahmed Jahouh has the capability of manipulating any game single-handedly, thanks to his incredible passing vision and accuracy. The midfielder is a workhorse and loves to initiate transitions and protect the backline at the same time. Stopping him would be one of the priorities for Ivan Vukomanovic.

The tactician will rely on Jeakson Singh, who is one of the most talented Indian holding midfielders in the ISL. This midfield battle is going to be immense in the eventual outcome of the game.

Roy Krishna vs Marko Leskovic

Odisha FC vs Kerala Blasters FC: Three key battles to determine ISL playoffs challenge.
Roy Krishna with his quick movement. (Image Source: ISL)

Roy Krishna is the leading goalscorer for Odisha FC in the ISL 2023-24 season with 12 goals. He is a proven talent in the league, a former ISL winner with ATK, and a Durand Cup winner with Bengaluru FC. He has a habit of delivering on big occasions.

Stopping him from scoring will fall on Kerala Blasters FC’s skipper Marko Leskovic. The centre-back leads the team in the absence of Adrian Luna and commands the backline with authority. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top.  

Mourtada Fall vs Dimitrios Diamantakos

Odisha FC vs Kerala Blasters FC: Three key battles to determine ISL playoffs challenge..
Mourtada Fall with the ball in his feet. (Image Source: ISL)

Mourtada Fall is a tough defender to overcome but someone like Dimitrios Diamantakos can find ways to navigate past him. The Kerala Blasters FC forward is leading the race for the Golden Boot with 13 goals in the ongoing season of the Indian Super League.

Odisha FC is a strong defensive unit, led by the former FC Goa and Mumbai City FC defender Mourtada Fall who knows all about the pressures of winning the competition. Their battle will be crucial in deciding the outcome of this knockout fixture. 

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