Talking Point: Can Marcelo inspire ATK Mohun Bagan against former team Odisha FC?

Match 84 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 will see ATK Mohun Bagan take on Odisha FC at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Saturday. ATK Mohun Bagan will hope to keep up with league leaders Mumbai City FC with a win over the bottom-placed club but with Gerald Peyton appointed as the interim head coach following the departure of Stuart Baxter, it may bring out the best in the players as has been the case with NorthEast United FC this season. Here, we look at some of the talking points ahead of the encounter between these two teams that could affect the outcome in a big way.

Marcelo Pereira faces off against his former team

Brazilian attacker Marcelo Pereira began the season in Odisha colours before moving to ATK Mohun Bagan on loan during the transfer window, with Bradden Inman going the other way. Marcelo marked his debut for the Mariners with a crucial goal that sparked a comeback against Kerala Blasters FC in their last match. Playing against a team with serious defensive frailties, which the 33-year-old knows all too well, Marcelo will back himself to find the back of the net for the second game running. ATK Mohun Bagan also have the experience of Lenny Rodrigues among their ranks after signing him from FC Goa during the transfer window.

Odisha’s Indian attackers need to do a lot more

Odisha have a number of Indian attacking talents in their squad but none of them has lived up to expectations. Jerry Mawihmingthanga has four assists and no goals to his name. Two of these assists came in Odisha’s only win of the season against the Blasters, and since the 23-year-old winger has failed to make a goal contribution of any kind for his team. Nandhakumar Sekar, meanwhile, has only one assist in 10 matches while creating a measly four chances and their forward Daniel Lalhlimpuia too has failed to score in nine matches, bagging only a single assist for his team.

Can Peyton help Odisha FC improve?

Following their loss to Jamshedpur FC in their last match, Odisha announced the departure of their head coach Stuart Baxter. The Englishman was replaced by Gerald Peyton whose sole objective will be to improve his team’s performance for the remaining six matches. He and his players will take some inspiration from the likes of NorthEast United FC and Bengaluru FC, both of whom let go of their head coaches midway through the season. The Highlanders are unbeaten in four matches with three wins since the arrival of interim head coach Khalid Jamil and the Blues have too shown signs of improvement after Naushad Moosa was made the interim head coach.


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