ISL 2021-22: Odisha aims top-four place in clash against high-flying Hyderabad

A win for Hyderabad FC will allow the side to stay at the top of the league table while an Odisha FC win will propel the side into the top-four 

Odisha FC was humbled 1-6 in its previous meeting against Hyderabad FC.   -  Focus Sports/ISL

Odisha FC showed some resolute defending when it played a goalless draw against ATK Mohun Bagan in its last match but it will break into the top four if it can secure three points against a high-flying Hyderabad FC side. 

It has been a season of ups and downs for Odisha FC. While it has been able to churn out convincing wins, consistency has been an issue for the side. In its last five matches, the Kalinga Warriors have won and lost two games each while the fifth one ended in a draw. 

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Odisha has kept a clean sheet in its last two matches. However, interim coach Kino Garcia will be well aware that Hyderabad won 6-1 when both teams met earlier this season. 

"Hyderabad FC are in really good shape and one of the best teams in the tournament. They have had the same coach. We are ready to face them and we are sure not to concede so many goals against them," Garcia told the media. 

Hyderabad FC will come into the match confident after the 4-0 drubbing of SC East Bengal in its last match, where Bartholomew Ogbeche scored his first hat-trick of the season. 

Coach Manolo Marquez knows that a win against Odisha will keep his team at the top. But with a determined backline and an in-form Arshdeep Singh, who has a save percentage of 84.61%, it would not be a walk in the park for Hyderabad. 

Marquez hinted at the possible exclusion of either Ogbeche or Javier Siverio against Odisha. 

"I had said before that we had to find the correct moment for both players to play together. Both played ninety minutes three days back so we have to see if we start both or only one of them."

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