Odisha FC and FC Goa go head-to-head in a top-of-the-table clash in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Friday.

Both sides are firmly set on securing the three points, with a win in this fixture giving the winning team a slight advantage in the race for the coveted ISL League Shield, which is the ultimate prize for both Odisha FC and FC Goa.

The Kalinga Warriors currently lead the ISL table with 30 points from 14 games, three points ahead of second-placed FC Goa. However, the Gaurs have played three fewer matches than Odisha FC.

Ahead of this riveting clash in Bhubaneswar, here are a few interesting statistics that could have a significant impact on the game.

FC Goa look to solidify their dominance

FC Goa are soaring under their new head coach Manolo Marquez. Despite failing to make a big impact in the cup competitions, the Gaurs have maintained their dream run of form in the league, remaining unbeaten after 11 matches with eight wins and three draws.

Moreover, they are undefeated against Odisha FC in the ISL, winning six out of nine encounters with the remaining three ending in draws. Odisha FC are the only team that have never beaten FC Goa in the history of the ISL (after at least two meetings).

We have got some unfinished business ⏳ 🔄🔥#OFCFCG pic.twitter.com/Yu7xSJp6y7

— FC Goa (@FCGoaOfficial) February 8, 2024 >

In the reverse fixture earlier in October, the Gaurs defeated Odisha FC in a thrilling five-goal match with Jay Gupta scoring a dramatic late winner. Now, facing them off again, Marquez's side will be looking to complete a league double over the Kalinga Warriors for the first time since the 2020-21 season. Can they continue their unbeaten streak and solidify their dominance in the league?

Home sweet home for the Kalinga Warriors

Sergio Lobera's Odisha FC have gone from strength to strength this season, making their mark in every competition they've participated in so far. Their recent home record could give them a much-needed boost ahead of this high-voltage clash. Similar to the opposing team, Odisha FC are also going into this fixture with an unbeaten record in their last seven home matches, having won six and drawn one. This is their joint longest such streak of games in ISL history, and they have won each of their last five home games, which is their longest such streak in the league.

However, FC Goa’s away record will give them cause for concern going into Friday’s match. The Gaurs are unbeaten in their last six away trips in the ISL, which is their longest such streak in the league and this record might raise an eyebrow in the Odisha FC camp.

Krishna-Martinez duel adds extra spice to the encounter

The limelight of the fixture will also be on the battle between the two strikers, Roy Krishna and Carlos Martinez. Odisha FC's Krishna has been in electric form this season and is currently leading the goal-scoring chart with ten goals in 14 appearances and also has one assist to his name.

FC Goa's Carlos Martinez is also slowly finding his rhythm with his new side. After a slow start to his Indian football career, Martinez has well and truly accustomed himself to the league. The Spaniard has netted five goals and one assist so far in 11 appearances.

Both teams will hope for their respective frontmen to shine in the upcoming fixture and it would be the toughest task ahead for the opposition defence to mark out these players given their clinical nature in front of goal. Both players have been at the top of their accuracy, even scoring from half the chances they've gotten. Krishna's ten goals have come from an expected goal value of 4.93, resulting in an xG differential of +5.07, the highest by any player this season. Martinez isn't far behind, ranking third with an xG differential of +2.61, having scored five goals from an xG of 2.39 this season.

So it will be fascinating to see which of these two players comes on top on Friday.