Odisha FC are back! The squad is way different to last year and so is their manager. Stuart Baxter has taken over from Josep Gombau who had to leave due to personal reasons.
LAST SEASON’S PERFORMANCE:
INS: Their biggest signing was undoubtedly Marcelinho. They roped in a staggering total of 18 players and also promoted several players from the academy. They also got in stars like Diego Mauricio and Steven Taylor who are influential players.
All of Odisha’s overseas players left with only Diawandou Diagne remaining from previous year. They also let go appearance their Indian talents like Romeo Fernandes and Albino Gomes.
Odisha’s biggest strength is their attack. They have arguably the best attack in the league with a certain Marcelinho who has shown his class in the ISL. With Marcelinho behind Diego Mauricio and Manuel Onwu Odisha are bound to create venomous attacks.They also have a solid back line and look all set to win!
Odisha’s main problem is adhesion. The new players haven’t played together before and also have no experience of the ISL. Coach Baxter will need to make sure that there is no lack of coordination among the players like last season.
TACTICS & FORMATIONS:
Odisha’s brilliant squad depth allows them to play almost any formation. But the one which will allow them to play at their best is the 3-4-1-2. It has numerous advantages. Marcelinho has a free role and both of the lethal strikers can slot in. The two wingbacks also enjoy a lot of freedom as they can join in the attacks , make overlapping runs which will give the team more width.
The holding midfield of Alexander and Rai is very solid and even if the opponents manage to dribble them The Juggernauts have a strong backline to thwart the opposition. Taylor and Tratt are the obvious centre backs with Gaurav Bora playing as the 3rd one. The 2 wings back can be D’Souza and Sarangi and Jerry can slot into the right side as a super sub if needed.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
1. MARCELINHO: This man doesn’t need an introduction. He is arguably the best forward in the ISL and we have seen what he can do.
If given a free role behind the strikers Marcelinho can be too hot to handle for the opposition. Let’s hope he can keep delivering.
2. STEVEN TAYLOR: Taylor is a man of Premier League experience. He made 195 appearances over 12 seasons for Newcastle United. He is a tall, imposing defender and definitely adds some muscle to The Juggernauts’ backline. He has also been given the captain’s armband for this season.
Goalkeepers: Arshdeep Singh, Kamaljit Singh, Ravi Kumar, Ankit Bhuyan
Defenders: Steven Taylor, Saurabh Meher, Gaurav Bora, Kamalpreet Singh, Md. Sajid Dhot, George D’Souza, Shubham Sarangi, Jacob Tratt, Hendry Antonay
Midfielders: Baoringdao Bodo, Cole Alexander, Isak Vanlalruatfela, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, S Lalrezuala, Nandhakumar Sekar, Paul Ramfangzauva, Samuel Lalmuanpuia, Vinit Rai, Thoiba Singh, Diawandou Diagne, Nischay Adhikari, Rishabh Dobriyal, Akshunna Tyagi, Marcelinho, Premjit Singh
Forwards: Diego Maurício, Manuel Onwu, Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Samuel Lalmuanpuia