Talking Point: Marcelo and Valskis under the spotlight ahead of Jamshedpur-Odisha tie

Match 10 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 sees Jamshedpur FC take on Odisha FC in the first match on Sunday at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco. Both clubs were on the losing side in their opening encounters and will look to get their first win and move up the points table. However, the pressure will be more on Owen Coyle’s Jamshedpur FC, who are winless in their last seven Hero ISL games. Ahead of the encounter, let’s take a look at some of the important factors that may impact the outcome.

Owen Coyle needs to bring the best out of his players

In addition to their unwanted record of seven games without a win, Jamshedpur have only won once in their last 14 matches in the Hero ISL. They also kept only two clean sheets last season, and conceded 35 goals, the second highest in the division. In order to get the better of Odisha, Aitor Monroy and Alexandre Lima will have to come up with a much better performance in the middle of the park than the one they put in against Chennaiyin FC in their 2-1 loss.        

Nerijus Valskis’ form is good news

Hero ISL 2019-20’s Golden boot winner, Nerijus Valskis kick-started his career with Jamshedpur FC in style as he scored a brilliant header against his former side Chennaiyin FC in their previous game. In the two matches he played against Odisha last season, Valskis scored two goals, and also took seven shots, three of which were on target. The forward, however, will require a lot of support from his team-mates in order to show his true class. His combination with Jackichand Singh will be key against Odisha, who won zero aerial duels in the box in their last match against Hyderabad FC.

Marcelo Pereira needs to up his game for Odisha to succeed

One of the biggest signings for Odisha FC ahead of the 2020-21 season was the Brazilian playmaker Marcelo Pereira but he was underwhelming on his debut for the club before being subbed off against Hyderabad. He played 53 minutes but looked totally out of sorts, with a passing accuracy of just 62%. Marcelo is just one shy of his 50th goal contribution in the Hero ISL and the match against Jamshedpur is a great opportunity for him to set things to rights.

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