Matchday 97 will see FC Goa turn up against a bottom placed Odisha to keep up their top-four hopes alive at the Fatorda.
Blast from the past:
Igor Angulo’s goal late in the first half stood out as the difference between both sides as FC Goa came out on top.
The Gaurs are known for their free flowing attacking football and have also scored the most number of goals from open play (19) this season. They are on a 10 match unbeaten run and are one of those two sides who haven’t faced defeat since the turn of year. Ishan Pandita came at rescue for Juan Ferrando’s side against Chennaiyin as his injury time equaliser added a point to Goa’s tally. They have been ruthless when it comes to scoring goals as they have netted in 26 goals this season but problems do lie at the back. The defending Hero ISL Shield winners have conceded 21 goals, most of them coming from dead balls.
“Maybe you can imagine it as being easy but it’s not so easy because now Odisha’s players don’t have a lot of stress on the pitch. They played better in the last games. Of course, it’s a difficult game. They will also be thinking about the future, to fight on the pitch and give some good performances because maybe in the future they will get some good offers,” Gaurs head coach Juan Ferrando said ahead of the game.
Odisha find themselves in the bottom half of the table and have struggled to find a way out for themselves. The Juggernauts have won just one game and are on a 8 match winless run. Their backline has leaked 30 goals and have just one clean sheet under their belt. The Bhuvaneshwar based club saw a 3-1 defeat against Northeast United in their last outing. They don’t have an Indian goalscorer as all of the 17 goals have come from 4 overseas players. Although results have not gone their way, they can upset anyone on any given day.
“I’m going to stay with the facts. In the second half against NorthEast [in their last game, a 3-1 defeat], we had a high percentage of passing, higher than them. We also had 81% accuracy of pass. FC Goa are a good passing team. I know their tactics; I know how they will play against us. Without giving any tactics away, we will play a certain way. This season we have a tendency to start getting our game together only after the first 15 minutes, so it is important that we start straight from the off [against FC Goa],” Odisha interim head coach Gerald Peyton said ahead of the game.
Players to watch out for:
The Spaniard is just one goal shy in the golden boot race with 10 goals to his name. Angulo has been really clinical in front of the goal and the 37 year old has left no stones unturned to fill the big boots of Ferran Corominas.
The target has scored the majority of goals for Odisha this season. The Brazilian has been a threat to any defense in the attacking third. His ability to dribble and fire long rangers has been a key for Odisha and he will be eyeing to add a something to his tally of 9 goals against FC Goa.
Predicted Starting XI:
FC Goa: Naveen, Seriton, James, Adil, Savior, Noguera, Glan, Princeton, Romario, Jorge, Angulo.
Odisha FC: Arshdeep, Bora, Tratt, Taylor, Hendry, Cole, Vinit, Jerry, Daniel, Inman, Maurício.