Talking Point: Will Odisha’s attackers at last come good?

Odisha FC will aim to arrest their win-less run when they face Kerala Blasters FC in Match 50 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Thursday. Both teams have not had a good season so far: Kerala have won just once in eight games, while Odisha have fared worse and are yet to taste victory. Both their previous encounters in Hero ISL have ended in draws. Here, we take a look at some of the talking points that could prove decisive on Thursday night.

Odisha need to step up, quickly

We are almost halfway through Hero ISL 2020-21 and Odisha FC remain the only club not to have registered a win. Stuart Baxter’s men have suffered six losses and drawn twice, scoring just six goals - the lowest in the league. Moreover, their failure to keep a clean sheet in any of their matches so far has only added to their misery. Not to mention, they have conceded 14 goals. Odisha need to start winning games soon in order to stay relevant as far as the semis race in concerned. 

Odisha over-dependent on Mauricio

Diego Mauricio has been shouldering Odisha FC’s offensive burden all alone this season. The Bhubaneshwar-based team has scored six goals this season, out of which three have come from Mauricio. The Brazilian forward is Odisha FC’s most potent goal-scoring weapon, having attempted 27 shots - the most by an Odisha FC player - with 13 of them coming from inside the box. However, the lack of support from strike partner Manuel Onwu has made it difficult for Odisha FC to win games. Mauricio will hope things change for the better for Odisha come Thursday.

Kerala need to find the target

In Hero ISL 2020-21, Kerala Blasters FC have struggled to keep up with others due to their inability to score goals. With a lowly 22.98% shot accuracy, Kerala Blasters FC have been the least accurate club this season. Although Kibu Vicuna’s men have enjoyed 50% average possession, they have attempted just 87 shots, out of which only 20 have been on target. However, they will be up against a leaky defense of Odisha FC and have a perfect opportunity to find the back of the net and grab all three points.

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