Defending champion Mohun Bagan Super Giant will be looking to preserve its winning momentum as it aims for its sixth straight win when it meets a strong Odisha FC in an Indian Super League (ISL) 10 fixture at the Salt Lake Stadium here on Wednesday.
It has been barely eight days as the visitor returns to the same venue to renew the duel against the local favourite, which it humiliated 5-2 in the AFC Cup group league stage.
Still smarting from one of the biggest defeats in recent times, Mohun Bagan SG will be eager to avenge the defeat in the continental tournament while trying to extend the record of winning continuous matches since the start of the ISL.
Mohun Bagan is currently placed third with 15 points from five successive wins while Odisha FC is fourth with 13 points from seven matches. Mohun Bagan will be making good progress in the standings if it retains its winning form.
Odisha FC, which has won its last five matches across formats, is steadily assuming a daunting form under the stewardship of Sergio Lobera, the Spanish coach whose exploits with Mumbai City FC still remains unchallenged.
Odisha is displaying a great level of dynamism and efficiency which was evident once again when it beat Jamshedpur FC (1-0) in its last ISL outing at the latter’s home. It will be relying on this effective team combination and shape to outplay the host once again and prove that the AFC Cup win was not a fluke.
The Super Cup winner Odisha FC has been able to steadily improve its performance majorly because the team remained free of injuries getting enough rest between matches.
That is not the case with Mohun Bagan SG, which is already missing four of its key players owing to injury. Comprising one of the highest number of players of the Indian national team, Mohun Bagan saw winger Ashique Kuruniyan and forward Manvir Singh get sidelined with injuries when they turned out in Indian colours.
Dimitri Petratos and Anwar Ali joined the list later to increase its woes. The injuries seem to have hurt the team a lot as its head coach Juan Ferrando looks to be struggling to find proper replacements to regain its balance and attacking prowess.
“It is not necessary to change a lot of things. In my mind the system is the same, it is to find space and score goals. It is an important match and we need to get our act together,” said Ferrando while stressing on maintaining consistency.
“We are in a good moment and happy about the (recent) results. The team is working very well and that is very important. I think we are growing every day. We need to improve, especially in finding the balance between attack and defence,” said the Odisha FC head coach Sergio Lobera while urging his players to put focus on their own performance.
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