Chennaiyin FC are hosting Odisha FC at the Tilak Maidan today, 18th December at 7:30 PM is what Match 33 of the Hero Indian Super League – Season 8 looks like. Both the teams started the season in good books however they have stumbled in their last few games. Odisha FC became completely a different team this season as the last years’ bottom tablers currently sit at fourth position in the league table, close to their opponents for the day, Chennaiyin FC, who maintain the fifth place.
Chennaiyin remained the only unbeaten team in the league this time ahead of their match against Mumbai City FC this Wednesday. However, a late effort by Rahul Bheke spoiled the party for the Marina Machans, who succumbed to the Islanders after valiant efforts, still, maintaining the highest number of clean sheets this season (2).
On contrary to a fairytale start for the juggernauts, the team is coming from a 4-0 loss against Jamshedpur FC this week. Odisha also bowed out against Kerala Blasters however they have aced their other fixtures.
Odisha FC’s goalkeeper Arshdeep Singh and defender Sahil Panwar will be out for some time due to their injuries, the club announced a few days ago. The availability of Spanish defender Héctor Rodas is also uncertain.
Chennaiyin FC talisman – Rafael Crivellaro has been out for some time now and is still recovering from his muscle injury.
Both the teams are complete opposite when it comes to their game style however both have a large number of young and explosive options to pick when it comes to the team selection. Here are some of them, who you should look out for.
THREE INDIAN PLAYERS TO WATCHOUT FOR
The Indian international has been a regular for the men in blue and has been involved in all five matches this season, even adding a goal to his name against NorthEast United. The prolific attacker has a total of 20 goals in the league and possesses the experience of 83 games, a lethal Chhangte will be difficult to handle.
Even though Odisha had a 4-0 loss against Jamshedpur, Issac was a live wire in the midfield delivering key passes. He is an important provider as he paved the way for two goals in the five games he played.
The Manipuri teenager has been making headlines for a very long time and is even the youngest goalscorer in the AFC Cup. He signed a three year deal with Odisha FC last season, however, an early injury kept him away. Thoiba provided a crucial touch in the game against NorthEast United FC, through which they secured a 1-0 victory courtesy of the header by Jonathas Cristian. He is a young prospect who can be the x-factor for the Kalinga warriors if all goes well.
THREE FOREIGN PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
The number seven has already netted three goals in his five appearances. The 33-year-old former Las Palmas player joined Odisha at the beginning of this season. Aridai, Jonathas and Javi fuel Odisha’s attack and it will be interesting to see how they will play against the leagues strongest defensive side.
The former ATK Mohun Bagan star is in a completely different form ever since he joined Odisha FC. We’ve all seen his defensive style before and now he is banging goals with OFC. The Spanish attacker has similar contributions as his teammate Aridai and they both are a threat to the opposition.
The 29-year-old Serbian defender has been solid at the back and plays a pivotal role in the defense .Slavko has been able to pull off a crucial sync with Indian centerbacks like Narayan Das as well and if there is anything Odisha needs to worry about, it all lies in their opponents’ defense.
HEAD TO HEAD RECORDS
It’s been a fair share of equal results in the past when these two teams met. Out of the four games played, two draws and a victory each are registered. The last time when these two met in the reversed fixtures, Chennaiyin took the three points with a 1-2 victory.
Considering their recently concluded games, both teams will be looking for getting back on track with a victory. Chennaiyin is a defensively strong team while Odisha has a baneful attack, but a shady defense that needs to be fixed. We expect the game to be a cracker and predict that Chennaiyin will win the game 1-0.
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