Talking Point: Can Diego Mauricio repeat his heroics against Jamshedpur?

Match 79 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 will witness Odisha FC squaring off against Jamshedpur FC at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Monday with both sides in need of a victory. Jamshedpur are winless in their last five outings and have to start collecting wins soon if they want to make a late push for the semi-final spots, while Odisha find themselves rooted at the bottom of the standings and must win most of their matches between now and the end of the league stage to maintain their outside chances of finishing in the top four. Here’s a closer look at some of the factors that may decide the outcome of Monday’s clash between the teams.

Will Jamshedpur’s attack come good against Odisha’s leaky defence?

Jamshedpur’s last two outings have ended in goalless draws and the three games prior to the draws finished in defeats for Owen Coyle’s men. They haven’t scored from open play in their last four games and found the back of the net just once during that time from a corner. Their top-scorer Nerijus Valskis, who has netted eight of their 13 goals so far, hasn’t been in the best of form recently either and the rest of his teammates must do better to support him in attack, which is something they haven’t done all campaign. However, they will be up against an Odisha side that’s conceded 20 goals and kept one clean sheet so far, making it an opportune time for Jamshedpur’s attack to find their touch in front of goal.

Diego Mauricio will be Odisha’s biggest threat

The Brazilian attacker netted his seventh goal of the season for Odisha against Bengaluru in his last outing and it was the third time in his last three games that he’s either scored or assisted. Diego Mauricio, in fact, has netted seven out of Odisha’s 13 goals and only Valskis has contributed more percentage of goals for his respective team in Hero ISL 2020-21. A threat in and around the penalty area, Mauricio is capable of scoring stunners from distance as well as poacher’s finishes inside the box. He scored twice in a 2-2 draw against Jamshedpur during the last encounter between the teams and will be Odisha’s most potent weapon in attack on Monday.

Jamshedpur’s inconsistent defence

Coyle’s men will head into the clash against Odisha on the back of successive clean sheets. However, it’s worth mentioning that they were incredibly fortunate to get a draw in their last game considering how many times Kerala Blasters FC struck the woodwork. Jamshedpur do have five clean sheets so far but a lot of credit for the shut-outs must go to their goalkeeper TP Rehenesh instead of the backline. While their defence hasn’t always performed to potential, Rehenesh has made 41 saves – third most by a goalkeeper this season – and has an impressive save success rate of 74.54%. Their defence must do better against Odisha to aid their goalkeeper’s efforts.

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