After winning their first game of the new campaign, Bengaluru FC will face Odisha FC next in the ISL. Odisha, led by coach Kiko Ramirez, will want his players to forget about the results from the previous few seasons and start afresh as the team, which has strengthened itself significantly during the off-season, aims to qualify for its first ISL playoffs.
Bengaluru, on the other hand, defeated Northeast United FC convincingly in their first ISL match under coach Marco Pezzaiuoli courtesy to goals from Jayesh Rane, Cleiton Silva, and debutant Prince Ibara.
Odisha FC will be missing out on the services of Shubham Sarangi who has been sidelined due to an injury and will not be available for selection anytime this year.
Bengaluru meanwhile will not have Leon Augustine available as the youngster came off injured in their match against Northeast United FC. Harmanpreet Singh will also remain to be sidelined.
3 Indians to watch out for
Jayesh Rane, ever since his breakthrough season with Aizawl FC, has slipped down the watchlist over the past two seasons. However it seems like the midfielder has found his old form back since joining Bengaluru FC. Jayesh impressed in the attacking midfield role during the AFC Cup and has carried his form into the new ISL season, scoring a brilliant goal against Northeast United FC in the last match. In addition to the goal, Jayesh created many goal scoring chances as well as contributed well defensively.
Jerry has been one of the most talented wingers in the Indian Super League over the past few seasons. He featured in 17 matches last year, scoring twice and recording five assists. Yet the stats do not convey Jerry’s true abilities. Besides his pace and flair down the flanks, Jerry has exemplary passing and crossing skills as well. Jonathas and Jerry will be a fun duo to watch out for this season.
The only bright spot for Odisha FC last season was Arshdeep Singh as the goalkeeper impressed everyone with his talent and skills. Despite Odisha’s poor defense, Arshdeep managed to save a remarkable 65% of the shots he faced. It will be difficult to score past the 24-year-old who will once again be crucial to Odisha’s prospects. Odisha’s revamped defense along with Arshdeep’s prowess between the sticks will provide a tough challenge to Sunil Chhetri and co.
3 foreigners to watch out for
Jonathas de Jesus
Jonathas has been one of the biggest signings in this year’s Indian Super League season, and expectations are sky high for him. Jonathas has played in the first divisions of the Netherlands, Spain and Germany, as well as in Asia. With a height of 6’3″, Jonathas is a massive presence inside the box and possesses a lethal right foot. The 32-year-old will pose the biggest threat to Bengaluru’s defense today evening.
After an injury-plagued season with ATK Mohun Bagan, Hernandez will look to regain his offensive abilities back as he is expected to be Odisha’s chief creative outlet this season. The midfielder has performed well in pre-season and will look to carry on that form into the new campaign.
Cliton Silva was one of Bengaluru FC’s best players last season, recording seven goals and four assists. Silva, being the only foreigner retained from last season, also attests to his importance in the Bengaluru team. He scored the opening goal against Northeast United FC the other day and posed a constant threat to the Higlanders’ defense. A versatile player, Silva has been used by Marco as a false nine and as a center forward so far.
Odisha FC have faced Bengaluru FC four times since relocating from Delhi to Bhubaneshwar and have failed to win any of those matches. The Blues have won three games and drawn one, scoring seven goals in the process.
Bengaluru FC will have the upper hand when they take the field today following their comprehensive victory against Northeast United FC. With a new coach and a completely new set of foreign players, Odisha FC may need some time to produce the desired results. The Bengaluru FC defense of Musavu King and Alan Costa were frequently found wanting in the last match, and Odisha FC led by star striker Jonathas will have to take advantage of it if they are to walk away with three points today.
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