Stat attack: Can Sergio Lobera solve Odisha FC's away-day puzzle?
The Kalinga Warriors have only managed to secure one victory in their last seven Indian Super League away games
FC Goa kicked off their Indian Super League (ISL) campaign under the guidance of Manolo Marquez on a positive note, securing three points against newly-promoted Punjab FC thanks to a first-half strike from Carlos Martinez.
Now, as they prepare to host Odisha FC on Saturday evening, they aim to maintain their newfound momentum and carry it forward into the season.
The Gaurs are among the ISL's most consistent teams. Despite the past three seasons not being their strongest, they have managed to continue their successful record against Odisha FC.
Back at the Fortress tomorrow 🏻🧡— FC Goa (@FCGoaOfficial) October 6, 2023
🚨: Please note, tomorrow’s game kicks-off at 5:30 pm. See you nice and early! pic.twitter.com/RtUW5U4l1E
FC Goa would be determined to maintain their impeccable record against Odisha FC. However, can the newly revamped Juggernauts under Sergio Lobera reverse their fortunes this time?
Are FC Goa in a better position to beat Odisha FC?
The Gaurs would certainly be shaking their hands in confidence, seeing their opponents, as they hold a remarkable record against the Kalinga Warriors. They have maintained an impressive streak against Odisha FC in the league. FC Goa stand undefeated in all eight of their ISL encounters with Odisha FC, boasting a record of five wins and three draws.
What sets this achievement apart is that the Bhubaneswar-based outfit is the sole team in ISL history that the Gaurs have faced more than once without succumbing to a loss.
Furthermore, Odisha FC's current away form continues to elude them. They have only managed to secure one victory in their last seven Indian Super League away games, accompanied by one draw and five losses. Their most recent away triumph occurred against NorthEast United FC, with a 3-1 victory back in February 2023.
Full steam ahead 🚂🐂 pic.twitter.com/i3v2m7bs3F— FC Goa (@FCGoaOfficial) October 6, 2023
Remarkably, the Juggernauts' defensive record has been abysmal, as they have been incapable of maintaining a clean sheet in any of their last 16 away games in the competition. This streak stands as the second-longest such run for any team in ISL history, second only to NorthEast United's ongoing record of 18 consecutive away games without a clean sheet.
Sergio Lobera stands between FC Goa and Three Points
Lobera’s Odisha FC aim to rebound from their recent AFC Cup defeat against Bashundhara Kings earlier this week and maintain their undefeated start in the league. Under the guidance of Lobera, the Juggernauts have kicked off their ISL campaign on a positive note, securing four points in their first two games.
This marks only the second time they've managed to remain unbeaten in their opening two games, the first being in the ISL 2021-22 season. Nevertheless, they are eager to extend this streak, as they have never been undefeated in their first three matches in any of the previous ISL seasons.
But in the tantalizing showdown between the two Spanish tacticians on Saturday, the burning question remains: who will ultimately emerge victorious? The statistics seem to favour Lobera in this intriguing matchup.
These two seasoned coaches have crossed paths on two occasions in the ISL, and on both occasions, Marquez's side found themselves unable to secure a victory or even notch a single goal in either encounter.