Match 40 Preview: FC Goa aim to give Derrick Pereira a winning start, Odisha FC eye return to form
Odisha FC will lock horns with FC Goa in their Hero Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco, Goa on Friday.
This will be FC Goa’s first match under Derrick Pereira who is taking the charge as the new head coach since Juan Ferrando’s departure. All eyes will be on the Gaurs who will look to extend their unbeaten streak against Odisha FC in Pereira’s first assignment.
The team had started to look settled with seven points amassed in their last three encounters but it will be interesting to see how the team copes after the managerial change.
After a healthy start to their campaign, the club has stumbled in the last five matches with three losses and two wins. Odisha arrive in this match with two successive defeats, first against Jamshedpur FC (0-4) and second against Chennaiyin FC (2-1). The resultant defeats have pushed Odisha down to seventh in the standings.
After a hat-trick of losses to start their campaign with, FC Goa have managed to revive their Hero ISL season with back-to-back wins and a draw in their last three matches. Sitting on the eighth position in the league table, the Gaurs have a task on their hands to climb up the ladder and get into the top four.
FC Goa have dominated this fixture with four wins in four matches these two sides have contended in. The Gaurs have been able to score 11 goals while Odisha FC have scored three against them.
Aridai Cabrera: Cabrera has been clinical in Odisha FC’s early progression in the Hero ISL, however, his three goals this season came in the first two games. He hasn't found the net in the last four Odisha FC matches. His form is vital for Odisha FC's chances.
Javier Hernandez: Hernandez has set the tone for Odisha FC this season with four goals – the most for the club this season and fourth overall. He is the heartbeat of the team and Odisha FC will look up to him to get them back in form.
Alberto Noguera: An important player in midfield, Noguera has made three goal-scoring contributions with an impressive passing accuracy of 85.56 in the six matches he has played so far.
Ivan Gonzalez: The defender has been a vital cog in the wheel for FC Goa. He has made 26 tackles, 21 clearances and 9 blocks to guard against threats.
FC Goa are three goals away from becoming the first Hero ISL side to score 250 goals in the competition.
The freekick curse
Six of the 8 set-piece goals FC Goa have conceded this season have come via freekicks -- the most by any club.
Out of the box magic
All of Javier Hernandez’s four goals have come from outside the box. His tally of four goals from outside the box this season is the joint highest for goals scored from outside the box by a player in a single season along with Diego Mauricio, who scored four from outside the box last year.
Match timings and telecast details
Match: Odisha FC v FC Goa
Date: 24th December
Venue: Tilak Maidan Stadium, Vasco
Kick-off time: 7.30 pm
Telecast: Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 3, Hindi Commentary on Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 Hindi HD, Star Sports 1 regional channels - Tamil, Bengali, Kannada, Telugu
Online Streaming: Disney+Hotstar and JioTV.