Both sides will look to get back to restore momentum in the camp with three points on Wednesday.
Odisha FC host defending champions Bengaluru FC in only their second fixture at home, to be played at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune. Both sides come into the fixture having drawn their previous game. Odisha FC, however, are desperately in need of a win after having seen all of their last three games end in a draw.
As of now, Bengaluru FC sit precariously third in the table. Any points dropped at this stage will allow the other teams to get into the top four and leave them far behind in the race for the top spot.
Josep Gombau-led Odisha’s last victory was a 2-4 win over Mumbai City FC earlier this season. The side followed that up by a couple of goalless draws and then went on to put up a brilliant performance against Chennaiyin FC, where they came back from a goal down twice to draw 2-2.
Odisha FC are currently sixth in the table, just two points above the last-placed team in the league. Any points dropped would see the rest catch up with them. The coach is keen on getting results, despite the team putting up fine performances in all of their games right from the start of the season.
The Blues were on a fantastic run after defeating Chennaiyin FC and Kerala Blasters, but the draw against Hyderabad brought back glimpses of their struggles to find the back of the net. Despite having scored very early in the game and dominating major parts of it, Carles Cuadrat’s side seemed to be clueless in front of goal, as all of their chances went to waste. Bengaluru FC had the chance to make it to the top of the table in the last round, but failed to take advantage of all of the teams in contention for the top spot dropping points.
Odisha currently have no injuries and go into the fixture with a full squad.
Cuadrat’s side are likely to miss the services of striker Manuel Onwu, as he still hasn’t recovered from an injury.
This is the first time Bengaluru FC face new outfit Odisha FC. However, both teams have met on four occasions previously (Delhi Dynamos) and have two wins each.
Man To Watch
Aridane Santana (Odisha FC)
The Spaniard has proved to be a great asset for the side, along with the likes of Jerry Mawihmingthanga and Xisco Hernandez. He’s the side’s top scorer with four goals this season. Despite returning from injury, he has shown no signs of decline, as he bagged the team’s equalizer against Chennaiyin FC in their previous game. Bengaluru FC coach Cuadrat is aware of the player’s potential and has deemed him a threat that has to be dealt with.
Sunil Chhetri (Bengaluru FC)
The skipper returned to scoring ways after a long wait at the start of the campaign and would like to keep the run going, as he leads the goalscorers’ charts among the Indian contingent in the league. Cuadrat has turned to Chhetri as his main striker after Onwu’s injury concerns and the skipper hasn’t disappointed so far.
Arshdeep; Sarangi, Diagne, Delgado, Das; Vinit, Tebar; Jerry, Xisco, Sekar; Santana.
Gurpreet; Nishu, Juanan, Serran, Khabra; Dimas, Paartalu, Augusto; Ashique, Chhetri, Udanta.
Did You Know?
- Both Josep Gombau and Carles Cuadrat hail from Spain and have had their stints managing the youth teams of Barcelona.
- This fixture has never resulted in a draw, both sides have two wins each, from the four times they have faced each other (previously Delhi Dynamos). Also, neither side has managed to win an away fixture in the head-to-head. This match which is a home fixture for Odisha FC will be played at a neutral venue in Pune.
- Xisco Hernandez and Daniel Lalhlimpuia who currently play for Odisha FC previously played for Bengaluru FC.
The game will take place at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune on Wednesday and will be telecast live on Star Sports 2 and Stars Sports 2 HD from 7:30 PM IST. It will also be streamed on Hotstar and Jio TV.