Odisha FC takes on SC East Bengal at the Tilak Maidan Stadium, Goa; Odisha being the host on paper. Kiko Ramirez’s boys are high on confidence after they stunned Bengaluru FC against all odds, creating history as Odisha FC beat Bengaluru for the very first time. It’s only their second game, and a win will make sure they move to top two of the table, shoulder to shoulder with ATK Mohun Bagan.
SC East Bengal, on the other hand, had a decent start with a draw against Jamshedpur but were dominated by arch-rivals ATK Mohun Bagan in their third game of the season. Frustration might be creeping in after a 3-0 loss in a derby match, along with an urge and compulsion to get back stronger and go for all three points against Odisha.
Odisha FC have played only one game so far and is free of any injuries or suspensions. SC East Bengal though miss out on their critical man, Arindam Bhattacharya on goal, after the injury he picked up in their previous fixture. East Bengal has more worries, as Raju Gaikwad, who was instrumental in defence with the experience in-store, could miss out on the game due to injury concerns.
3 Indians to watch out for
Young Jerry, as the commentators, would often like to call him, even though he is only 24 is firepower in Odisha FC’s attack. With pinpoint crosses and fiery pace down the line, Jerry could indeed play a key role in taking home the three points for Odisha. No wonder this Mizo lad has high hopes on his shoulders, and the Odisha FC fans will be looking up to him for more.
High responsibilities on Vinit Rai, as he would be leading the side into the game against East Bengal. Vinit is solid in his defence and creative in attack and can contribute with goals as well and hence is a man to watch out for. It would be an outstanding achievement to lead his team to consecutive wins at the beginning of the season.
Hira Mondal is one of the new entries into the Indian Super League and has great potential for his team. His absence was felt and questioned in the derby match against ATK Mohun Bagan, with no doubts about his defensive abilities, physical attributes and his attacking qualities. Hira has a lot to prove and can be a man to be looked out for Odisha FC.
3 Foreigners to watch out for
Javi Hernandez is one of the most crucial additions to the Odisha FC Squad. With a habit of winning and performing when the team needs, Javi proved his worth with a brace against Bengaluru FC in their previous match. Defence splitting passes and control on the game with the elite mentality makes him one of the most valuable players for the game.
Jonathas de Jesus
Jonathas looked sharp in his first outing with Odisha though he could not get his goal but would be happy enough for helping his team win the match by a good 3-1 margin. Jonathas is lethal in attack and possesses a significant threat to the opponent’s defence. Not only scoring goals but unselfishly creating chances for his teammates is what we saw of him in their first game. Looking to open his goal-scoring tally, he can indeed be a game-changer for his team.
The Croatian had a decent time out for SC East Bengal so far, but frustration surely ought to creep in for a striker unless they score goals. Perosevic is one of the bright talents in the East Bengal squad and, if supported well by his teammates, can well be the match-winner for his team. There’s a huge fan base to please and an urge to prove himself in the new league; hard-working Perosevic would be eying to score goals for his team and help them to a better position in the league table.
SC East Bengal
Odisha FC and SC East Bengal have faced each other only twice in the Indian Super League, in which both the teams have one win to their names. SC East Bengal got the better of them in their first leg while the second leg of the fixture ended in an 11 goal thriller, with Odisha getting the better of East Bengal by a 6-5 margin.
Odisha FC started their campaign on a high, while SC East Bengal is still looking for their third win and would be giving their all for the three points. Although Odisha has better chances of winning the game, most of their previous match’s performance seemed heavily reliant on Javi Hernandez. SC East Bengal would well be aware of the fact and have done their homework before facing Odisha. Keeping in mind the circumstances 1-1 might be how the game ends, with both teams sharing a point each at the end of the day.
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