Talking Point: Can Chennaiyin rectify their attacking deficiencies against Odisha FC?

For a second time in three days, Chennaiyin FC and Odisha FC are against each other in the 2020-21 Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) on Wednesday. Both sides are presently struggling in the league. While Chennaiyin are on a four-match unbeaten run, Odisha are propping up the league at present following their goalless draw against the Marina Machans on Sunday. In light of their past exploits in the Hero ISL, two-time champions Chennaiyin are under pressure to get outright results in order to stay relevant as far as the semis berths are concerned. Odisha, meanwhile, have improved of late and that will give them some confidence going into the contest. Ahead of the game at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim, let’s take a look at some of the factors that could influence the outcome in a big way.   

Chennaiyin are struggling up front

Chennaiyin are proverbially an out-and-out attacking side. However, this season they have been lacking up front with just eight goals in 10 matches so far. Besides they have failed to score in five of their matches this season, and that puts their performance in the final third in perspective. Jakub Sylvestr and Esmael Goncalves have failed to live up to their reputation. Lallianzuala Chhangte too has been nowhere close to his performances last season for the Marina Machans. Chennaiyin need them to fire as now they are running out of time. Lack of outright results from here on can dent their semis chances irreparably. 

Odisha over-reliant on Mauricio

Odisha have been overly dependent on Diego Mauricio. The Brazilian has scored five of their 10 goals so far and the day he is kept quiet by the opposition, Odisha look impotent in the final third, like in the last game against the Marina Machans. In the game before when they beat Kerala Blasters FC, Mauricio was the difference with a brace. Manuel Onwu is likely to start this game and Mauricio will hope they can work together and improve on the team’s attacking performance so far. 

Odisha defence needs to improve too

Odisha have conceded 16 goals this season so far. As of now only Kerala (19) have given away more goals than them. Steven Taylor, Jacob Tratt, Gaurav Bora and Hendry Antonay will have to tighten things at the back just like they did in their last game. Chennaiyin may not have scored many goals this season but they have created many chances, so Odisha can’t be complacent against Csaba Laszlo’s attackers who are more than capable of putting the opposition to the sword on their day. 

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