Match 105 Preview: Mumbai City look to return to winning ways against Odisha FC

Mumbai City FC will be looking to close the gap on table-toppers ATK Mohun Bagan when the Islanders face Odisha FC at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Wednesday. Sergio Lobera’s men can go to within three points of ATK Mohun Bagan with a win and can’t settle for anything less than maximum points against Odisha if they want to top the standings at the end of the league stage.

Hero ISL 2020-21: Click here to predict where your favourite team will finish this season.

The Islanders though aren’t in the best of form at the moment. They have won just one of their last six games, drawing twice and losing thrice, including their previous two outings. Needless to say, they will be eager to turn things around against bottom-placed Odisha, who were beaten by Mumbai City earlier in the campaign.

However, Lobera’s men will be under pressure after being winless in their last three games and they will also be aware that a loss or draw for them will hand ATK Mohun Bagan this season’s League Winners Shield. They will be hoping for a quick start in their match against Odisha, which is something they haven’t managed to do in their outings recently.

The Islanders have scored 14 goals in the first half and need to score early to settle their nerves. They can look to exploit set-pieces against an Odisha side that has often struggled to deal with such situations this season. Mumbai City, in fact, have netted 15 goals from set-pieces – the most by a Hero ISL team this season. Defensively, the Islanders need to do better if they are to add to their tally of eight clean sheets this campaign. They’ve failed to register a clean sheet in their last six games and have to tighten things up at the back.

“We need to improve on our performance in the last game.  I’m sure 100 percent that if we play the same way it will be impossible for us to win …The focus is on ourselves. We need to improve in defence as well as attack. We had a lot of chances in the last game and we need to more clinical,” Lobera said ahead of the game.

Odisha, meanwhile, are winless in their last nine matches but will be looking to end their season on a positive note. The Bhubaneswar-based club enjoy a good head-to-head against Mumbai City having won two of three encounters against them. They did, however, lose their last match against them and will be keen to make amends when they face the Islanders on Wednesday.

Getting the better of Mumbai City though is easier said than done as the players in Odisha’s camp will attest for. The Bhubaneswar-based club have struggled on both ends of the pitch this season, especially in defence which has seen them let in 33 goals and keep just one clean sheet all campaign. Offensively, they have just four players that have found the back of the net for them so far and are highly reliant on Diego Mauricio, who is their top-scorer with 10 goals.

“…It’s going to be my first match [in charge] and I am very excited as well as a little bit nervous. I discussed with my senior team and they all are supporting me, foreign players, even Indian players, they all are supporting me. It’s a good sign, so yes, we all are ready for the next match …It’s difficult to be motivated after a such a season but they [the players] all are professionals and I am trying my best to keep them motivated [trying to lift their moods],” Odisha FC’s interim head coach Steven Dias said ahead of the game.

Squads:

Odisha FC

Goalkeepers: Arshdeep Singh, Kamaljit Singh, Ravi Kumar, Ankit Bhuyan

Defenders: Steven Taylor, Saurabh Meher, Gaurav Bora, Kamalpreet Singh, Mohd Sajid Dhot, George D’Souza, Shubham Sarangi, Jacob, Hendry Antonay, Rakesh Pradhan

Midfielders: Baoringdao Bodo, Cole Alexander, Isak Vanlalruatfela, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, S Lalhrezuala, Nandhakumar Sekar, Paul Ramfangzauva, Samuel Lalmuanpuia, Vinit Rai, Thoiba Singh, Bradden Inman

Forwards: Diego Mauricio, Manuel Onwu, Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Laishram Singh

Mumbai City FC

Goalkeepers: Amrinder Singh, Nishit Shetty, Vikram Singh, Phurba Lachenpa

Defenders: Amey Ranawade, Valpuia, Mourtada Fall, Mehtab Singh, Mandar Rao Dessai, Tondonba Singh, Mohamad Rakip

Midfielders: Ahmed Jahouh, Bidyananda Singh, Bipin Singh, Hernan Santana, Raynier Fernandes, Rowllin Borges, Hugo Boumous, Cy Goddard, Asif Khan, Jackichand Singh, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy, Vikram Partap Singh, Pranjal Bhumij

Forwards: Adam Le Fondre, Bartholomew Ogbeche

Live Broadcast Schedule:

Hero ISL 2020-21 Match 105: Odisha FC vs Mumbai City FC

Date: February 24 (Wednesday)

Time: 7:30 PM onwards

Channels: Star Sports Network

Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV

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