Matchday 37 brings us back to GMC Stadium in Bambolim as Odisha FC eye their first win of the season against a Northeast United FC side who are determined to bounce back stronger.
Blast from the past :
In February 2020 Odisha FC hosted the Highlanders and produced to dramatic comeback to clinch a 2-1 victory even after going 0-1 down at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.
Odisha FC :
The Juggernauts went through a complete revamp with a new head coach on board and looked too good on paper. But, things have not fallen at place for Stuart Baxter’s side as they find themselves at the bottom of the table with just 1 point to their name. Goal scoring has become a point of concern for the Odisha FC despite big names like Manuel Onwu, Marcelinho, Diego Maurício making their way to the Bhubaneshwar based club.
Their problems don’t just end here, Stuart Baxter’s side have failed to keep a single clean sheet in all of their 6 outings as things have gone against Steven Taylor and his defensive partner Jacob tratt. However, Odisha FC did showcase what they bring to the table in the tie against the Blues even though they ended up on the losing side.
“NorthEast United have quite a few quick players. They play back to front very quickly and get the ball into their strikers. So whatever solutions we plan will be based on our team and not an individual marking a man closely.” said Stuart Baxter during the Pre Match Press Conference.
Northeast United FC:
The Highlanders did kickstart their campaign in a bright fashion but things have changed a bit in the past few weeks. Northeast United are winless in their last 3 matches that saw them play out 2 draws and their first defeat against Jamshedpur FC. But, the Highlanders are determined more than ever to bounce back stronger and end the year on a high as this will be their last outing in 2020.
They currently occupy one of the four play off spots and will be looking to go in and fight with the same approach in which their started their campaign. The Highlanders have scored all of their 8 goals from inside the box and will surely look to capitalise on Odisha FC’s weaknesses. Gerard Nus’s men will come out all guns blazing when they face a tough challenge against Odisha FC.
“I have no doubt that we gonna have a good performance tomorrow. We stick to the positive things that we have done so far since day 1. We are again gonna be a team who are serious in our organization, be strong in our defensive duties but also we are a team that knows how to create chances, we score from many ways in our previous games and that’s again one of our strengths. We are not a defensive team like we heard. We are team that knows how to attack, has different ways to punish the teams scoring wise and in the same time we know how to defend.” said Gerard Nus at the Club’s Pre Match Press Conference.
Battles to watch out for :
Khassa Camara vs Marcelinho
The Mauritanian Machine has already displayed his abilities to control the game from the middle of the park and will have a key role to play in tonight’s clash against Odisha FC and will also have the responsibility to deny Marcelinho any chances.
The Brazilian playmaker has not yet shown a glimpse of his playmaking capability at Odisha but will surely need to be on his toes against the Highlanders and to create chances he will need to outplay Khassa Camara.
Nandakumar vs Ashutosh Mehta
The young Indian winger has been crucial for Odisha to build up their attack and in order to get something out of tonight’s clash he will need to make sure he is at his best against Northeast United’s Right back Ashutosh Mehta.
The Northeast United FC fullback will play his 50th Hero ISL game tonight and will be ever so determined to get his side all the 3 points but he will need to be on his toes because he will have the duty to deny Nanda any chances.
Probable Starting XI :
Odisha FC : Arshdeep, Sarangi, Taylor, Tratt, Hendry, Bora, Cole Alexander, Jerry, Nanda, Onwu, Maurício
Northeast United FC : Subhasish, Ashutosh, Lambot, Fox, Gurjinder, Camara, Lalengmawia, Ninthoi, Gallego, Suhair, Appiah.