Mohun Bagan Super Giant and Odisha FC are poised for their sixth encounter this season, with this could be the most crucial of all of them. The Kalinga Warriors will travel to the home of the ISL League Winners with a slender one-goal advantage from the first leg. 

Although the Mariners seized an early lead through Manvir Singh in the first leg, Sergio Lobera’s side showcased resilience, orchestrating a comeback in the opening half with goals from Carlos Delgado and Roy Krishna.

The home crowd at the Salt Lake Stadium will undoubtedly play a significant role in this clash, and Mohun Bagan SG will aim to capitalize on this advantage as they did on the final day of the league stage against Mumbai City FC.

Read: Past Meetings between Mohun Bagan SG and Odisha FC

With just a single goal separating the two teams and a spot in the final up for grabs, winning key one-on-one battles could tilt the scales in favour of either side.

Here’s a look at some of the key battles that could decide the outcome of the match between these two sides.

Hector Yuste vs Roy Krishna

Facing the league’s top scorer is always a daunting task and clearly, Krishna had the upper hand between the two in the first leg.

The Fijian forward received a long ball from Amrinder Singh, manoeuvred past Yuste, and slotted it past Vishal Kaith to give his side the advantage in the two-legged semi-final.

Despite holding the lead, Lobera’s side will not be sitting back and defending their lead. Rather, they were eager to stick to their natural game plan and build upon their goal advantage. Krishna has picked up his form at a crucial juncture and would relish the opportunity to trouble his former team once more on Sunday.

Keeping Krishna at bay will be the sternest test of Yuste's defensive capabilities. However, he will be more than prepared this time around. With immense experience behind him, the Spaniard will aim to showcase his leadership skills, nullifying the Fijian’s threat and keeping his side focused in the tie.

Dimitri Petratos vs Ahmed Jahouh

With Carlos Delgado suspended for this game, the onus falls on the Moroccan midfielder to anchor the defence and provide an additional layer of security, alongside his primary playmaking role.

Petratos has been the Mariners' go-to player for the past two years, just as Jahouh has been for Odisha FC this season. This sets the stage for an intriguing battle, particularly in Odisha FC's defensive half.

Petratos, often deployed as a withdrawn striker, has shown versatility by dropping deep into midfield to initiate attacks. This is an area where Lobera will aim to exploit Jahouh's disruptive abilities.

However, in the first leg, both players seemed to stray from their usual form, with Jahouh attempting only 41 passes, his joint-lowest in a full 90-minute ISL game, while Petratos, despite providing the assist for the goal from a corner, struggled to make a significant impact on the game.

Now, with the second leg looming, both of these players will need to rediscover their best form. Their individual performances will be crucial in determining the outcome of the match.

Liston Colaco vs Amey Ranawade

Another key matchup that will capture everyone's attention during Sunday's match is between Liston Colaco and Amey Ranawade on the right-hand side of the visitors' half.

Ranawade demonstrated his defensive prowess in the first leg, effectively neutralizing the Mohun Bagan SG winger for much of the game.

Colaco was a livewire when the Habas' side played the last time in Kolkata, scoring the early goal that gave his team the lead over the Islanders. He will be confident in replicating that performance in the second leg to propel his team to the final for a second consecutive season.

On the other hand, Ranawade has been adept at exploiting the spaces left behind the opposition full-backs, a skill that Lobera will keenly look to capitalize on to apply pressure on the home side.

The fleet-footed winger will be eager to utilize his sudden burst of pace and his ability to shoot from distance. His presence could also limit Ranawade’s attacking influence.

It will be interesting to see which of these two better capitalizes on the weaknesses of the other.