Sergio Lobera’s Odisha FC will hope to break down the defensive resolve of Jamshedpur FC in the Steel City as the two teams square off at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in their Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 fixture on Friday, December 01.
There have been very few tacticians with a more illustrious résumé than Lobera in the Indian top-tier league, but the Juggernauts, under him, got off the mark on a slightly shaky note, losing twice in the first six ISL games.
The battle for the top spot in the ISL table is of very slight margins, and dropping eight points (W 3, L 2, D 1) might have already put Lobera in a tight spot.
However, the Spaniard must be brimming with belief after his boys brushed aside Mohun Bagan Super Giant in a 5-2 win in the AFC Cup at the Salt Lake Stadium. With five different scorers getting their names on the sheet, Lobera will hope to see his side replicate the same at the league level.
The Red Miners, on the other hand, have conceded only seven goals this season, and whilst that defensive solidity deserves applause, its inefficiency moving forward has troubled it so far.
However, the team can draw confidence from its superlative outings against the Juggernauts.
It has won five times against Odisha FC in ISL history – the second most victories against a team after NorthEast United FC (6). More importantly, Jamshedpur FC has also netted 19 goals against the Bhubaneswar-based club, which is the joint-most times it has struck against any ISL team (alongside Mumbai City FC).
Scott Cooper can surely reflect on what has been done right by his club in their former outings against Odisha FC to derive similar impressive outcomes this time around.
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