Match 53 Preview: Odisha hope to continue winning form against faltering Chennaiyin FC

After a strong win over Kerala Blasters FC in their previous outing, Odisha FC will hope that they can produce a similar performance against Chennaiyin FC in Match 53 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Sunday. Chennaiyin, on the other hand, conceded four against Hyderabad FC in their last match and Csaba Laszlo will be looking for a strong reaction from his team.

The Marina Machans’ main area of concern is the attacking output of their foreign players. Esmael Goncalves has played just five of Chennaiyin’s nine matches so far due to injury problems and has not scored since the team’s season opener. Jakub Sylvestr has not been up to the mark either having scored just once. Chennaiyin have scored just eight goals this season! Making things worse for them, Rafael Crivellaro has been ruled out for the rest of the season on account of injury and that will only tighten the screws on the Marina Machans. 

One positive, however, that the Marina Machans will take into this game is that Anirudh Thapa and Rahim Ali have scored twice each while Lallianzuala Chhangte has scored once, which highlights the attacking intent of their domestic talents. This might come in handy against a side that has been prone to leaking goals this season. Odisha have conceded 11 out of 16 goals in the first half of games and Chennaiyin’s speedy wingers will look to get the better of their defence.

"Odisha put in a lot of effort to win their last game. We have to do the same. Every team has their own problems but in this league no team is better than the other. We have some good football players and we have to go on the pitch and do the same. Not every game will be fantastic. It is better to lose one game than play eight bad games," Chennaiyin head coach Laszlo said ahead of the game.

A key player for Odisha this season has been Jerry Mawihmingthanga. Since his return from injury, the winger has been the most creative player for Odisha. He has the joint-most assists (4) alongside Hugo Boumous, who has played a game more. Jerry provided five assists in 17 matches last season, so clearly he is going from strength to strength this season.

His combination with Diego Mauricio will hope to break down a defence that has conceded 11 goals this season. Chennaiyin are winless in their last three matches and have conceded six goals in those. Meanwhile, Mauricio has scored five goals, including two braces, and looked in fine touch against Kerala Blasters.

When all is said and done, Chennaiyin have looked vulnerable this season and this might be the perfect opportunity for Stuart Baxter’s side to rise off the bottom of the league table.

"It (the first win in their last game) is important to the degree that we needed to get those first three points to give the players the belief and confidence to continue on the road ahead. I think the players did a fantastic job in retaining their belief despite the results being against us, sometimes quite unluckily. Now hopefully, we can kick on," head coach Baxter said ahead of the game.

Squads:

Chennaiyin FC

Goalkeepers: Revanth BY, Vishal Kaith, Karanjit Singh, Samik Mitra

Defenders: Lalchhuanmawia Fanai, Enes Sipovic, Reagan Singh, Eli Sabia, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Remi, Balaji Ganesan, Aqib Nawab, Deepak Tangri

Midfielders: Fatkhulo Fatkhuloev, Thoi Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Memo Moura, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Abhijit Sarkar, Pandiyan Sinivasan, Germanpreet Singh, Dhanpal Ganesh, Edwin Vanspaul

Forwards: Jakub Sylvestr, Aman Chetri, Rahim Ali, Esmael Goncalves

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

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

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

Live Broadcast Schedule:

Hero ISL 2020-21 Match 53: Chennaiyin FC vs Odisha FC

Date: January 10 (Sunday)

Time: 5:00 PM onwards

Channels: Star Sports Network

Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV

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