Match 6 Preview: Bengaluru FC eye second win, Odisha FC seek a rare good start
Odisha FC will take on the 2018-19 champions Bengaluru FC in their opening match of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season at Tilak Maidan Stadium on Wednesday.
Odisha FC have appointed a new coach in the face of Kiko Ramirez for the upcoming season. The Spaniard has the experience of coaching in the Polish top flight with Wisla Krakow.
Bengaluru FC, on the other hand, won their first match of the Hero ISL 2021-22 against NorthEast United FC. The club is up and running under their manager Marco Pezzaiuoli. The German was the technical director of Eintracht Frankfurt before coming to India.
With both teams looking to put out an improved performance compared to last season, the two coaches will feel a win would be vital in this game if they are to establish their credentials as a semi-final contender.
The Blues defeated NorthEast United FC 4-2 in their last outing. They have had a dream start to their season. Now the task would be to build on it and carry the momentum forward.
Bengaluru FC played five matches in the pre-season, out of which they won two, lost two and drew one. Some of the youngsters from the squad were also involved in the Durand Cup.
The Kalinga Warriors finished in eleventh place last season after securing 12 points in 20 matches. The club won only two games and lost 12. This season would be about lifting the club to at least a mid-table finish if not more.
In the last five pre-season practice matches, the club won three, drew one and lost one. They had begun their pre-season camp in early September.
The young winger Leon Augistine was subbed off after being brought on for a little more than five minutes. In the pre-match press conference, Pezzaiuoli revealed that the club is still waiting for the MRI results but he is definitely unavailable for the game on Wednesday. The coach also stated that one or two players might miss the game due to illness.
Midfielder Bruno Ramires had gone down a couple of times around the hour mark but continued to play the entire ninety minutes.
The Kalinga Warriors would look for a change in fortune with the arrival of a new manager. They have added players who look good on paper but it remains to be seen how well they gel together.
In order to fix the defensive woes of last season, the club has signed Victor Mongil and Hector Rodas. Mongil has joined from a top-tier Georgian club FC Dinamo Tbilisi. He helped the Tbilisi-based club win the league back in 2019. As for Rodas, he has the experience of playing in La Liga with Levante UD.
To bolster their offensive play the Odisha-based club has acquired Javi Hernandez and Jonathas de Jesus. Hernandez has signed from ATK Mohun Bagan FC. He has the experience of lifting the Hero ISL 2019-20 trophy. Jesus on the other hand has played in La Liga.
In the pre-match press conference, Ramirez informed the media that it will be challenging for him to choose the starting eleven and everyone is in good condition,
The 25-year-old was Hero Of The Match from BFC’s last match against the Highlanders. He was directly involved in two out of four goals. The winger made some beautiful runs and posed a constant threat to the Highlanders’ defence line.
The striker opened his goal scoring tally of the season by slotting the first goal of the match. The Brazilian also assisted Jayesh Rane’s goal. The 34-year-old scored seven goals and assisted four goals last season and will be key against Odisha FC.
The man from Mizoram scored two goals and made five assists in 20 appearances last season. The 24-year-old took a total of 21 shots at goal out of which eight were on target. The winger made some crucial contributions for his side in the matches. He is one of the Indian players to look out for this season.
The 23-year-old played 18 matches last season. The center-back made 63 tackles, 47 blocks, 38 interceptions and 68 clearances. Over the season, he won 19 aerial duels.
Not A Happy Hunting Venue
Odisha FC failed to register a single win in the three matches that they played at Tilak Maidan Stadium last season. The club lost two and drew one. Their opponents have also more or less fared the same.
Bengaluru FC played four matches out of which they only won one. The club drew two and lost one.
Shaky At The Back
In the Hero ISL 2020-21 Odisha FC conceded the most number of goals, with 16 goals from set pieces and 28 from open play. The club struggled to cope up with both set pieces and open play situations. They have conceded more goals in both the situations than any other team in the league.
Failed To Start On A High
Odisha FC have never won their opening day fixture.
Match Timings and Telecast Details
Match: Odisha FC vs Bengaluru FC
Date: 24 November 2021
Venue: Tilak Maidan Stadium, Vasco da Gama, Goa
Kick-off time: 7.30 pm
Telecast: Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 3, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 Hindi HD, Star Sports 1 regional channels - Tamil, Bengali, Kannada, Telugu
Online Streaming: Disney+Hotstar and JioTV.