Talking Point: Can Mumbai City keep their table-topping hopes alive against Odisha FC?

Match 105 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 pits Mumbai City FC against Odisha FC at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Wednesday. The Islanders must beat Odisha to keep their chances of topping the standings at the end of the league stage alive and will be eyeing maximum points after being winless in their last three games, including consecutive defeats in their previous two outings. Odisha, meanwhile, will now be hoping to end the campaign with positive results in their last two games having endured a disappointing season. They will also want to ensure that Mumbai City don’t do the double over them having already lost to the Islanders earlier in the season and here we have a look at a few of the talking points ahead of the clash.

Islanders must get over slump

Mumbai City are enduring somewhat of a slump having won just one of their last six games. Since January 25, Mumbai City have won just one match, and Kerala Blasters FC, Chennaiyin FC and Odisha FC are the only teams that have done worse than them in terms of the number of outright results during this period. Their slump in form couldn’t have come at a worse time as ATK Mohun Bagan built momentum in the business end of the season to leapfrog the Islanders to the top of the table. Only Odisha have lost more matches than Mumbai City’s three since January 25 and they need to make the most of the clash against the Bhubaneswar-based club to return to their best ahead of the semi-finals.

Odisha look to avoid unwanted records

Odisha FC have won just one match so far and if they don’t win at least one of their two remaining games, the Bhubaneswar-based club will end up with the unwanted record of being the only team in the history of the Hero ISL to end the league stage with just one win. They are currently level with Hero ISL 2018-19’s Chennaiyin side as far as accumulating the least points (9) in a season goes and will be eager to at least reach double figures before the end of their campaign. Another record that they will be hoping to steer clear of is being the team that has conceded the most goals in a season. Hyderabad FC conceded 39 goals last season – the most by a team in any season – and Odisha have conceded 33 so far with two matches left to play.

Cy Goddard will be entrusted to unlock the opposition defence

Cy Goddard has shown his capabilities for Mumbai City in the last few games with their main playmaker Hugo Boumous suspended. Goddard will be the Islanders’ biggest creative threat against Odisha and he will need to step up for his team on Wednesday. Goddard has provided three assists for the Islanders so far and has shown his quality on the ball in recent matches like the clash against Bengaluru FC where he provided two assists besides also creating a whopping 9 chances. Only Boumous has created more chances for Mumbai City than Goddard (33).

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