Talking Point: Can Odisha FC avoid creating unwanted records against SC East Bengal?
Match 108 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 will witness SC East Bengal and Odisha FC squaring off at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Saturday in what will be both sides’ last game of the season. SC East Bengal beat Odisha FC in their previous encounter this campaign and will be eyeing the double as they look to end their season on a high. Odisha FC, meanwhile, will also be hoping for a positive result to erase the memories of a 6-1 defeat that they suffered at the hands of Mumbai City FC in their last outing. Here’s a closer look at some of the talking points ahead of the contest.
SC East Bengal’s standout performer will be a midfield threat
Matti Steinmann has been the pick of the players for SC East Bengal in their debut Hero ISL season. The German midfielder has notched up four goals and three assists, including one against Odisha FC in the earlier Hero ISL 2020-21 encounter between the sides. He has created 17 chances, just one fewer than the top SC East Bengal chance creator and has also made 31 successful tackles – the most by any player from the Kolkata club, making him an important player for Odisha FC to mark tightly.
Diego Mauricio capable of producing match-winning displays
Similar to Steinmann for SC East Bengal, Diego Mauricio has been a huge player for Odisha FC this season. Mauricio, in fact, has been more important to Odisha FC than Steinmann has been for SC East Bengal and that’s reflected in the fact that he has scored 11 out of 19 goals that the Bhubaneswar-based club have netted, amounting to 57.9% of the total goals scored by them. Mauricio has also created 25 chances, just one fewer than Jerry Mawihmingthanga.
Can Odisha FC avoid the worst-ever Hero ISL campaign?
There are plenty of unwanted records that Odisha will be looking to avoid come Saturday. If they fail to secure a win, Odisha FC will go down as the only club to end a Hero ISL campaign with just one victory. They have conceded 39 goals so far and if they concede one more, Odisha FC will become the first team to concede 40 goals during the league stage. Another defeat will also see them match the 2018-19 Chennaiyin FC team in terms of points won (9) as well as defeats suffered (13) – both of which will be joint worst.